Calculating "Pain And Suffering" in California

Find A California Personal Injury Lawyer for Pain and Suffering Damages


The losses sustained by victims in accidents might encompass a wide range of non-economic or "subjective" losses in addition to monetary losses. The category for "pain and suffering" is one of the most major non-economic losses. Get a Personal Injury Lawyer in California to sort it out for you.

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What Qualifies As "Pain And Suffering" Damages?

Following an accident, victims may feel great physical and mental pain in addition to the financial hardship of their injuries. In addition, some injuries can induce physical pain for an extended period of time, causing the afflicted to remain in pain.

Furthermore, emotional and mental disorders may arise due to the physical pain caused by any scars or disfigurement, as well as the stress of the event itself.

Victims of accidents may suffer a variety of losses that they may recover from a negligent party. Because they are solely economic losses, some of these losses are relatively simple and tangible. These can include property damage losses, lost pay and benefits from missing work, and the costs of any medical treatment required.

Furthermore, if an injury prevents a person from working due to long-term or chronic disability, they may lose their sense of self-worth, self-esteem, and enjoyment of life. For a vehicle accident claim, all of these losses fall under the category of "pain and suffering," and California law permits plaintiffs to seek compensation for pain and suffering in various situations.


With the help of your California Personal Injury Attorney, you might be able to forward a demand to be compensated for your intangible losses.

Your Pain and Suffering's Value

Because pain and suffering are not quantifiable, deciding how much and proving that you deserve the calculated amount for your pain and suffering can be challenging. While there is no specific method for calculating how much your pain and suffering are worth, it is crucial not to overestimate their value.

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For example, if you sprained your wrist, you should not seek the same amount of pain and suffering as someone who has suffered a catastrophic brain injury. The longer your injury's consequences continue, and the more severe your symptoms are, the more compensation you're likely to be entitled to.

In a Personal Injury Lawsuit, the following can be helpful tools in establishing and demonstrating the worth of a claim for pain and suffering:

  • Medical professionals that can attest to the common signs and discomfort associated with your injury

  • Your physician, who can testify about any pain records you claimed throughout treatment

  • Experts in psychology or psychiatry who can assess your mental and emotional state and testify to any mental health difficulties that have arisen as a result of the accident

  • Any journals or notes you regularly kept, recording your pain levels or general feelings

  • Friends and family members' testimonies about your altered mood, abilities, or activities

  • The type and dosage of medication you'll need to control your pain

Following an accident, there are numerous inventive ways to convey both physical and emotional pain and suffering. In your instance, a California Personal Injury Lawyer can assist you in developing an efficient legal strategy.


Are There Limits To Personal Injury Claims?

Pain and suffering are classified as "non-economic" damages. Non-economic damages are given to plaintiffs not to compensate them for a specific monetary sum (such as medical expenses or lost wages), but to alleviate some of the pain and suffering they have experienced due to their injury.


As a result, there is no maximum cap on pain and suffering damages in California, with a few exceptions.

Non-economic damages from medical negligence are capped at $250,000 in California, unless the doctor or healthcare professional acts recklessly or with the intent to injure you.

Furthermore, whatever sums you seek for medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses are unaffected by the $250,000 cap.


There are three situations in which a driver's ability to pursue damages after an accident may be limited:

  1. Non-economic damages are not available to DUI drivers.

  2. Non-economic damages are not recoverable for uninsured car owners unless a drunk driver caused their injury.

  3. Non-economic damages are not recoverable by uninsured drivers under any circumstance.

Consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in California to help you sort through the specifics of your case.


What About Car Accidents?


After an accident in California, there are some limitations on how much compensation you can get for pain and suffering. The key exception is that motorists who are not adequately insured are often barred from receiving non-economic damages, such as pain and suffering.


If an uninsured driver is injured by another who was impaired by drugs or alcohol, and the intoxicated driver is later convicted of DUI as a result of the collision, the uninsured driver may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering as well as other non-economic losses.


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Furthermore, while victims are not legally barred from seeking damages for pain and suffering due to a minor injury, doing so might be much more difficult. Slight incidents resulting in minor injuries and minimal degrees of trauma might prove severe bodily or mental pain and suffering. However, it is not impossible, mainly if your injuries are severe in comparison to the minor accident.

How Will Insurance Companies Calculate Your Pain And Damages?

There is no industry standard for calculating pain and suffering damages. Thus settlement offers will differ from one company to the next.

Multiplying your economic damages by a figure between 1 and 5, with higher values indicating more severe injuries, is a typical method for determining settlement offers.


So, if your medical expenditures were $30,000 and you had a mild accident, the insurance company might multiply your economic damages by two and provide $60,000 in pain and suffering benefits.

These are just approximations and hypothetical scenarios—every injury and case is different.


Find A Personal Injury Attorney in California

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