What is “Pain and Suffering” in Personal Injury Cases?2019-02-11T20:18:48+00:00

Under California law, personal injury victims are able to receive compensation for far more than simply medical bills. Whether you’ve suffered injury due to someone else’s negligence in a car accident, boating accident, bus accident, accident at the workplace, or other situation, you’re usually entitled to compensation for medical expenses, as well as something legal professionals call “pain and suffering.” Law.com defines pain and suffering as “the physical and mental distress suffered from an injury, including actual broken bones and internal ruptures, but also the aches, pain, temporary and permanent limitations on activity, potential shortening of life, depression and embarrassment from scarring, all of which are part of the “general damages” recoverable by someone injured by another’s negligence or intentional attack.”

The catch us that determining pain and suffering is especially complicated because the damages and losses are subjective, as opposed to concrete medical expenses which can be calculated more easily. Enjuris says that “the concept of pain and suffering addresses the overall loss of comfort, happiness and opportunity that usually follows an accident.” It’s a complicated and very subjective issue.

The amount of pain and suffering that a personal injury victim is compensated for varies case by case.  Enjuris goes on to explain that when awarding pain and suffering in California, judges are attempting to measure an actual cash value of the victim’s sense of wellness. Sound complicated? It is! When choosing a personal injury attorney to represent you or a loved one, make sure to choose someone well experienced in California personal injury law and cases similar to yours.

What Can Be Considered Pain and Suffering?

Below are some common examples of pain and suffering categories:

  • Emotional trauma, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
  • Bodily injury and its lasting effects.
  • Grief over the death of a loved one.
  • Limitation of personal activities.
  • Potential shortening of life.

According to LegalMatch, courts evaluate the following factors when awarding pain and suffering compensation:

  • Evidence supporting the plaintiff’s claims.
  • The type of injury, duration, and severity of pain.
  • Pre-existing conditions of the plaintiff.
  • The injury’s effect on the plaintiff’s enjoyment of life.
  • Future issues that may arise in connection with the injuries.

Has someone else’s carelessness or negligence caused you harm in Southern California? You might be focused on the immediate need of getting your medical bills covered, but don’t downplay the importance of securing compensation for pain and suffering damages. You deserve justice because the effects of pain and suffering can continue to impact your life even after the medical expenses are paid for. Contact Jeffrey E. Estes & Associates today for more info.

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