Understanding Pain and Suffering Damages in Personal Injury Claims
If you’ve been hurt in a car accident, slip and fall, or otherwise injured because of someone else’s negligence or fault, it’s important to understand the different types of compensation, known in the law as “damages,” that you may be able to recover from the at-fault party. Many types of damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, are fairly easy to understand and identify; “pain and suffering” damages, on the other hand, are less clear to the average person. What is included in “pain and suffering,” and how does an insurance company or a jury calculate these damages in a given case?
Read on for a brief discussion about pain and suffering damages in personal injury claims. If you’ve been hurt in a car, truck, or motorcycle accident, dog bite, slip and fall, or other injury in the Antelope Valley, contact Kistler Law Firm to review your claim with a skilled and knowledgeable Lancaster personal injury attorney.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering damages are a category of non-economic damages in personal injury law. They represent the physical pain and emotional distress a victim endures due to an injury caused by someone else’s negligence or intentional harm. Compared to economic damages, like medical bills or lost wages, pain and suffering damages are not as easily quantifiable.
Pain and suffering damages generally include:
Physical Pain: This includes ongoing discomfort, aches, or more severe pain resulting from your injury.
Emotional Distress: This encompasses mental suffering due to the injury, such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, or even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
The calculation of pain and suffering damages isn’t straightforward. It often depends on factors like:
- The nature and severity of the injury.
- The impact on the victim’s everyday life.
- The recovery period and any long-term consequences.
Attorneys may use different methods, such as the ‘Multiplier Method’ or the ‘Per Diem’ approach, to estimate these damages. It’s essential to have skilled legal representation to accurately assess and argue for fair compensation.
Evidence is key to establishing and proving pain and suffering. Evidence may include:
- Medical records.
- Testimonies from medical professionals.
- Personal diaries documenting the impact on daily life.
- Testimonies from family, friends, or coworkers.
In addition, various California laws can impact the calculation of pain and suffering damages. For instance, comparative negligence can affect the amount of compensation you receive. If you’re found partially at fault for the incident, your compensation might be reduced accordingly. Whether negotiating a settlement with the insurance company or presenting a case to the jury, it’s critical to understand the laws that could impact your case and present a solid case that proves the other party’s negligence and disputes any unfounded claims that your own negligence played a role in the accident.
It’s also important to note that California law imposes caps on non-economic damages in certain cases, like medical malpractice. However, in most personal injury cases, there are no such caps, allowing for the full pursuit of pain and suffering damages. California law also now allows the estate of a deceased injury victim to pursue pain and suffering damages, which were not available until recently.
Help With Pain and Suffering Damages in Lancaster and the Antelope Valley
Pain and suffering damages play a significant role in personal injury claims, and understanding their nuances can make a significant difference in your pursuit of justice and fair compensation. At Kistler Law Firm, our expertise in personal injury law ensures that your case is handled with the care and attention it deserves, striving for the best possible outcome for your situation.
If you or a loved one has been hurt by the negligence of another in the Antelope Valley, call the Kistler Law Firm at 661-206-6990 for a free consultation with a compassionate and experienced Lancaster personal injury lawyer.