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Non-Economic Damages: Proof and Argument

This lesson covers the availability of non-economic damages; evidentiary issues in proving these damages; and issues in the argument to the jury of these damages. This lesson gives you an opportunity to explore the "how to" of non-economic damages, particularly damages for pain and suffering and mental or emotional distress. The lesson is designed for upper-level students in remedies, advanced torts, or trial practice courses. Students should have some basic knowledge of both tort law and evidence law. First-year students may find the lesson accessible by making use of the pop-up screens providing background on concepts and rules.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, the student will be able to:
1. Explain the prerequisites for recovering non-economic damages.
2. List evidentiary challenges in proving pain and suffering damages.
3. Explain the various methods of arguing damages to a jury.
4. State an example to show that the measurement and proof of damages is subjective and to a degree speculative.
5. List the kinds of documentary evidence that might provide more "objective" evaluation of the plaintiff's claims of pain and suffering.

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