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What Qualifies as Pain and Suffering?

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

When another party injures you, you may sustain one or more physical injuries. You may also incur substantial financial losses, such as loss of income, travel expenses, cost of medical treatment, and personal care costs. You also experience pain and suffering because of the accident and your physical injuries. You deserve to be compensated for all damages caused by another party.

A California personal injury attorney helps you document your damages to help you receive a fair settlement for your personal injury claim. Documenting pain and suffering damages can be challenging. There is not an invoice or bill you can use to prove the value of your suffering. Many people are not aware of what qualifies as pain and suffering damages after an accident.

What Is Included in Pain and Suffering Damages?

Pain and suffering damages refer to the noneconomic damages caused by an accident or injury. Most people think about the physical pain and emotional distress caused by a personal injury. However, pain and suffering damages include much more than just your physical discomfort and emotional trauma.

Pain and suffering damages include:

Physical Pain and Discomfort

Typically, a person who sustains a physical injury experiences pain and discomfort. Generally, the more severe the injury, the more severe the pain. Some factors that can increase the value of this type of damage include having surgery, going through physical therapy, having invasive procedures, and lengthy recovery periods. 

Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish

Victims of personal injuries and accidents also experience emotional and mental trauma. They may have flashbacks, nightmares, and severe anxiety. Some people develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), or they may become clinically depressed.

Psychological injuries can be just as debilitating as a physical injuries. Some accident victims may require counseling, therapy, and medication to treat the emotional distress and mental trauma caused by an accident. 

Scarring and Disfigurement

Severe scarring, disfigurement, and amputations can cause severe mental trauma and psychological injuries. A victim may be embarrassed because of the scarring or disfigurement. They may withdraw and isolate themselves. They also may require numerous, painful procedures and surgeries to treat the injury, including various forms of therapy.

Permanent Disabilities and Impairments

Accidents can result in disabilities and impairments that impact a person’s life forever. Spinal cord injuries that result in paralysis, amputations, and brain injuries are a few examples of catastrophic injuries that result in permanent disabilities. 

In addition to recovering compensation for the financial damages associated with a disability, the victim is entitled to compensation for the disability and impairment.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life 

Some victims may experience a loss of enjoyment of life or a decrease in their quality of life because of the accident. They may not be able to return to their ordinary activities, care for their needs, or care for their family.

Permanent impairments are not the only cause of a loss of enjoyment of life. Psychological injuries and emotional distress may also result in a decrease in a person’s quality of life. 

Call Our Law Firm for a Free Case Review with a California Personal Injury Attorney

Calculating the value of pain and suffering is not easy. There is not a statutory formula for putting a price on your pain and suffering. Our California personal injury attorney can help you document noneconomic damages to maximize the value of your personal injury claim. Call now for a free consultation to discuss your case.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.