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Personal Injury Damages: Addressing Pain and Suffering, Pre-Impact Damages, Conscious Suffering Before Death

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss the art of arguing for or against a plaintiff's claims for pain and suffering, including pre-impact damages and conscious pain and suffering before death, as well as some of the evidentiary keys to unlocking these damages and the burden of proof at trial.


Non-pecuniary damages are a matter left to the jury's discretion, which is then asked to measure the inherently unmeasurable: What sum of money will compensate the plaintiff for the involuntary experiences and life changes that have resulted from the defendant's acts? Two plaintiffs may experience the same injury differently.

Attorneys debate which methodology to use before the jury. Plaintiff counsel want the jury to appreciate the full extent (and full value) of what the plaintiff has lost, while defense counsel will surely attempt to point out any shortcomings and argue the "unfairness" of whatever calculation the plaintiff counsel uses. Counsel on both sides must be well prepared to persuade the jury to understand why or why not to award non-economic damages.

Listen as our distinguished panel guides personal injury attorneys on proving (or disproving) a pain and suffering damages award. The panel will discuss best practices for calculating damages, conducting voir dire, and preparing jury instructions in advance of trial.



  1. Types of pain and suffering
  2. Methods for calculating pain and suffering damages
  3. Persuading the jury
    1. Educating the jury about pain, possible themes, opening/closing
    2. Forbidden arguments
    3. Defense insights on themes and closing arguments
  4. Burden of proof
  5. Types of evidence that may be used
  6. Pre-incident and conscious suffering before death
  7. Standards of review on appeal


The panel will review these and other relevant topics:

  • What is "pain and suffering"?
  • What are some methodologies that may be used to calculate pain and suffering damages?
  • What types of arguments are prohibited?
  • What key issues should counsel consider when seeking expert witnesses?


McManis, Jason
Jason S. McManis

Ahmad Zavitsanos & Mensing

Mr. McManis has helped clients successfully pursue patent infringement claims against some of the largest corporations...  |  Read More

Tarver, Brett
Brett A. Tarver

Troutman Pepper

Ms. Tarver defends primarily pharmaceutical and medical device companies in litigation involving mass tort, personal...  |  Read More

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