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What Is 'Pain And Suffering' In A Civil Claim?

What Is ‘Pain And Suffering’ In A Civil Claim?

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Date Modified: September 9, 2023

Whether you’re suffering injuries from a work-related accident, motor vehicle accident, or a slip and fall accident, you may be eligible for monetary and non-monetary damages, especially pain and suffering damages, in a personal injury claim.

Ehline Law and our personal injury attorneys have helped over 3,000 injured clients with their personal injury claims and recovered over $150 million in compensation for their injuries, pain, and suffering.

  • Video Transcript - What Is ‘Pain And Suffering’ In A Civil Claim?

    Video Transcript - What Is ‘Pain And Suffering’ In A Civil Claim?

    0:00 what is pain and suffering in a civil

    0:02 claim pain and suffering in a civil

    0:05 claim pertains to the tort injuries any

    0:11 tort unlike a contract an injured victim

    0:14 can sue for their pain and mental

    0:16 anguish as well as their suffering so if

    0:19 someone gets shot in the leg and they’re

    0:22 under extreme pain because of a severed

    0:24 nerve for example a jury can calculate

    0:27 an award of pain and suffering it often

    0:30 based upon what they feel is a fair

    0:33 amount for this person to have to suffer

    0:35 for the rest of their lives so for

    0:37 example it might be worth to a jury

    0:40 thirty dollars a day over this person’s

    0:43 lifetime so the jury would multiply that

    0:46 thirty dollars a day times the expected

    0:48 life of the plaintiff in order to award

    0:50 compensation for pain and suffering.[Music]

If you’re suffering pain and emotional trauma, contact us to learn more about your rights as an injured victim. Pain and suffering can include damages for physical and emotional distress. However, these damages can only testify to the past. In some instances, the Plaintiff can use actuarial tables to show his life expectancy—he must be compensated for that many years of pain and suffering.

Additionally, a Plaintiff may recover for Loss of enjoyment of life, that is, loss of enjoyment of activities the injury prevents the ­victim from pursuing. Victims cannot recover if they are unconscious—not aware of or distressed by the loss of enjoyment. Additionally, one must be conscious for an “appreciable period of time” before death to recover.

What Is ‘Pain and Suffering’ in a Civil Claim?

After an accident, you may feel physical and mental pain, which can affect your quality of life. The pain and suffering can go on for weeks, months, or even years, depending on the severity of the injuries.

Worse, mental, and emotional pain can remain with the victim for much longer, requiring therapy to overcome the challenges.

Is ‘Pain and Suffering’ Easily Calculated?

Pain and suffering are subjective feelings; only the victim can understand and explain what they are going through, making it difficult to quantify and put a dollar amount to when filing a pain and suffering claim. Working with an experienced personal injury lawyer is crucial to recover what you deserve.

Types of Pain and Suffering

There are many different types of pain and suffering damages a person can claim in a personal injury lawsuit, and some of them include the following:

  • Physical pain
  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional pain
  • Emotional distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Embarrassment
  • Grief
  • Humiliation
  • Loss of companionship
  • Sexual dysfunction.

Is There a Limit on Pain and Suffering Damages?

Based on the evidence and facts of a case, the jury and judge can award compensation for pain and suffering damages. However, some states may limit the damages awarded for pain and suffering.

Does California Have a Limit on Pain and Suffering Damages?

In California, there is no limit on non-economic damages in most personal injury cases, but some exceptions may apply. For example, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 for medical malpractice cases.

Is Claiming Pain and Suffering Damages Challenging?

Claiming economic damages from physical injuries is easy to calculate (medical bills, hospital stay fees, lost wages, etc.). However, assigning a dollar value to non-economic damages, primarily pain and suffering, can be challenging. You would need to provide evidence to help the insurer or the jury understand your pain and suffering.

Proving Pain and Suffering

Some of the documentation or evidence that can prove the physical pain and emotional trauma you’re going through includes:

  • Your visits to the medical doctors, including mental health therapy sessions.
  • Written opinions by therapists describe the extent of your pain and suffering and how your life will continue to be affected beyond bodily injury.
  • Testimonies from third-party medical witnesses help verify your doctors’ and therapists’ statements or opinions.
  • Prescriptions for medications for your physical injuries and medical pain.
  • Documentation regarding your permanent conditions.
  • A detailed journal explaining how the pain has affected your life and your ability to carry out daily activities following the accident.
  • Testimonies from your friends and family members explaining the impact on your daily life.

Documentations from expert witnesses, including a mental health professional, and your personal journal creates sympathy and helps the insurer or the jury understand your excruciating journey and how the accident continues to affect your life.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in a Personal Injury Case

There are certain factors that the insurer, judge, and jury take into consideration when calculating pain and suffering compensation, and these include:

  • The severity of the injuries
  • Physical and mental suffering
  • How the injuries continue to impact the victim’s life
  • Employment status following the accident
  • Victim’s health and the duration it will take for the injury to heal
  • Types of medical treatments the victim is undergoing
  • Future medical treatments the victim may require
  • Injury prognosis.

Every personal injury case is different; presenting the right evidence can improve the chances of recovering damages. Calculating pain and suffering in personal injury lawsuits can be challenging, and an experienced attorney can help calculate pain and suffering damages and prove them by gathering the evidence needed.

Schedule a Free Consultation with Ehline Law

Suppose you suffer from severe mental pain and emotional trauma from a personal injury accident due to another’s negligence. In that case, we offer a free consultation, as you may qualify for compensation. Our personal injury attorneys understand how constant physical pain and mental suffering can change your life and affect your daily activities.

Our top-rated personal injury lawyers are capable of helping you obtain full and fair compensation after any negligence. We can help the victim or a representative of the deceased’s estate recover damages 24/7. Contact us at (213) 596-9642 for a free case review if you or a close family member has questions about pain and suffering damages. We can also be reached by using our convenient online contact us form.

Michael Ehline is an inactive U.S. Marine and world-famous legal historian. Michael helped draft the Cruise Ship Safety Act and has won some of U.S. history’s largest motorcycle accident settlements. Together with his legal team, Michael and the Ehline Law Firm collect damages on behalf of clients.
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Michael Ehline

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We pride ourselves on being available to answer your most pressing and difficult questions 24/7. We are proud sponsors of the Paul Ehline Memorial Motorcycle Ride and a Service Disabled Veteran Operated Business. (SDVOB.) We are ready to fight.