How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in California?
One of the types of compensation available in personal injury claims is called “pain and suffering.” Pain and suffering can be a significant chunk of your personal injury compensation, but it can also be complicated to claim. Below is your guide to successfully calculating and claiming pain and suffering.
According to Nolo, there are two types of pain and suffering: physical and mental.
Physical pain and suffering is the pain from actual physical injuries. It includes not just the pain and discomfort that the accident victim has endured, but also the negative physical effects that he or she is likely to suffer in the future as a result of the accident.
Mental pain and suffering results from the accident victim’s physical injuries, but it is more of a by-product of those bodily injuries. Mental pain and suffering can include mental anguish, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, fear, anger, humiliation, anxiety, shock, anger, depression, loss of appetite, lack of energy, sexual dysfunction, mood swings, sleep disturbances, and more. Severe mental pain and suffering can even cause post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Mental pain and suffering can be summed up as any kind of negative emotion that an accident victim suffers as a result of enduring the physical pain and trauma of the accident.
Like physical pain and suffering, mental pain and suffering can also cover the negative mental conditions that the victim will likely suffer in the future as a result of the accident.
How Do Judges Award Pain and Suffering in California?
According to FindLaw, because there is no dollar amount immediately associated with pain and suffering, awards are considered non-economic (or “general”) damages.
Some of the factors that may be considered when attempting to place a dollar value on pain and suffering include:
- How much will the injured party’s daily routine be limited or altered?
- Will the injury impact relationships at home or work?
- How does the pain or injury affect sleep or other lifestyle factors?
- Will the injury impact the victim in the long term?
However, pain and suffering is never simple. There are many more factors that a judge could use to determine pain and suffering compensation, some of them having to do with your personal character traits or history. It’s important to have an attorney’s help if you want the outcome of your case to be in your favor.
Because pain and suffering is so complex, victims often walk away with less than they deserve. But this doesn’t have to happen to you!
How to Successfully Claim Compensation
The best way to ensure maximum compensation is to start working with an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.
Were you involved in a car accident or other injury in San Diego? If you’ve been injured in any type of accident that was caused by someone else’s negligence, it’s time to claim the full compensation you deserve. We’re here to help you avoid settling for anything less!