If you sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be entitled to compensation for your losses. There are various types of compensation which typically entail economic damages and non-economic damages. While economic damages include losses or expenses to which damages can be attached, non-economic damages like pain and suffering are often difficult to compute.
As such, you may be wondering how pain and suffering damages are calculated in a personal injury lawsuit in California. Here is an elucidation of some of the fundamental facts you need to know about pain and suffering damages and how a personal injury attorney at the attorney Jeff law firm can help you.
What are Pain and Suffering Damages?
“Pain and suffering” is a general term used to refer to a wide array of injuries that a victim of a personal injury accident may sustain. Typically, pain and suffering damages are considered non-economic damages since they are difficult to calculate compared to economic damages.
Damages that are classified under pain and suffering
There are multiple types of personal losses which may be classified as pain and suffering. Understanding which past and future losses fall under the umbrella of pain and suffering damages is imperative since you will be in a position to seek an amount based on the type of loss incurred.
The following are some of the personal losses under the umbrella of pain and suffering damages:
- Mental anguish
- Depressions and anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Physical pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Lost quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Shock or grief
How are Pain and Suffering Calculated in a Personal Injury Case in California?
Calculating pain and suffering in California is a daunting task. This is because pain and suffering are highly variable types of damage whose award in most cases depends on the unique case of the victim and how their life has been impacted.
Although no specific calculation method is required to calculate pain and suffering damages, a jury may decide to use one of the two common methods available. They include:
Calculating pain and suffering involves an equation that multiplies the claimant’s total amount of economic damages by a multiplier. In simpler terms, a jury will take compensation that is calculable such as out-of-pocket expenses, and use them to calculate unknown expenses by multiplying them by a certain number (typically 1.5 to 4).
For instance, if you are awarded $150,000 in economic damages, and the jury chooses a multiplier of 4 for a serious injury, the amount of pain and suffering damages you may be entitled to recover would be $600,000.
The Per-Diem Formula
While juries often use the multiplier method, the per-diem formula is generally used by attorneys. To put this into context, a personal injury attorney will request a jury to assign a specific fault rate ($100 or $300) to a victim’s pain and suffering, after which the daily rate will be multiplied by the number of days which the jury thinks the pain and suffering are likely to continue.
Does California Have Caps on Pain and Suffering Damages?
California has fee caps on non-economic damage. This means there is no limit on the amount of non-economic damages awarded in a personal injury suit in California. However, California puts a $250,000 cap on non-economic medical malpractice damages.
How Can a Personal Injury Attorney in California Help?
If you or someone you loved sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence, you might be eligible for compensation. This means that you may be able to recover pain and suffering damages. However, obtaining an award for pain and suffering damage in California is generally difficult. The complex claim process and the insurance company adjusters make it difficult for most claimants to obtain this type of compensation.
For this reason, having a personal injury attorney by your side is important. Essentially, an attorney will help compute the amount of pain and suffering damages you are eligible to receive and, at the same time, will work hard to ensure that you receive the compensation you deserve. In other words, an attorney will work hard to safeguard your rights and interests.
Contact an Attorney Today
Calculating the amount of pain and suffering damages that you may be entitled to receive can be a daunting task. However, a personal injury attorney at the Attorney Jeff law firm has the right experience and skills to help you understand the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. Essentially, an attorney will identify the most suitable method and calculate the amount of pain and suffering damages that you should be awarded if your claim is successful.
At AttorneyJeff, we have a reputation for handling personal injury cases in California. What’s more, we value client satisfaction and will work hard to ensure that you are involved through every stage of the claim process. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
When can you claim pain and suffering damages in California?
A victim who sustained an injury due to someone else’s negligence can pursue a claim for pain and suffering damages for most personal injuries with only a few exceptions. You can claim pain and suffering damages after:
- Car accidents
- A wrongful death
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability
- Intentional torts
- Defective products
What factors are taken into consideration when determining pain and suffering damages?
In determining the amount of pain and suffering, the jury will attempt to arrive at a monetary figure that will reflect the amount of compensation you are entitled to receive due to the pain and suffering endured. To achieve this, the court may consider various factors. Some of the key factors include:
- Medical bills
- Nature and extent of injuries
- Length of recovery
- Damages to a vehicle