Usually, it takes some time to realize something life-changing has happened to you. Looking back, maybe the stitches, the cast, the operation or therapy weren’t the main thing. Sometimes you know your life has permanently changed only after you’ve lived it a while and can see the old one isn’t coming back.
In Arizona, lawsuits to recover damages for pain and suffering really are filed after traumatic changes in people’s lives. Arizona law has rules for deciding a reasonable and fair outcome for what’re experiencing and defines a pathway for recovering just compensation.
What kind of harm qualifies for pain and suffering suits?
Lawsuits often seek compensation for economic losses such as lost wages, repair and replacement damages, the cost of medical care and the like.
But pain and suffering are harder to quantify because they’re non-economic and won’t always show up in the black and white of invoices.
Pain and suffering can include anxiety and loss of love, care, affection, companionship and other pleasures of a relationship, as well as bodily pain and discomfort, physical suffering, disfigurement and death.
What if my suffering isn’t from a “regular” injury?
When it happens to you, pain and suffering is never normal or regular, and Arizona’s laws show an awareness of that.
The state permits pain and suffering to be part of damage awards in cases of wrongful termination, damage to reputation, breach of contract and false imprisonment.
More immediate physical injuries are also allowed to be the subjects of pain and suffering damages from the likes of defective products, medical malpractice, intentional injury, slips and falls and car accidents.
What if it might have been partly my own fault?
Arizona uses a rule of comparative negligence that calculates the relative fault belonging to you and to them. Your damages are added up, and the percentage of your fault is subtracted. You’re awarded the rest.
Is it too late?
It might be. You have one year after the misdeed to sue for:
- Malicious prosecution.
- False imprisonment.
- Libel or slander.
- Breach of promise of marriage.
- Breach of employment contract or wrongful termination.
Generally, you have two years after:
- Physical injuries including medical malpractice.
- Wrongful death.
- Financial or property damage or theft.
- False imprisonment.
And for product liability, you have 12 years.
What is the maximum I can try to recover for pain and suffering?
Bearing in mind that there are the “comparative fault” calculations and that reasonableness would probably be an important factor for the jury to consider, there is no maximum to the dollar figure you can seek.