What Does Pain and Suffering Mean in a Personal Injury Case?

You have just been injured in an accident in California. In addition to bodily injuries or damage to your property, the entire ordeal has taken a toll on you emotionally and mentally. Afterall, you were not doing anything wrong when you were hurt by the negligence of someone else —yet you have been paying the price for it.

Many individuals who suffer injuries and property damage from an accident assume that they will be able to recover compensation for those damages in addition to payment for their pain and suffering. However, if you have recently been involved in an accident in the State of California, you should know that pain and suffering damages are not awarded as commonly as you may think.

What is pain and suffering?

Damages for pain and suffering in California personal injury law are meant to compensate an injured party for non-economic damages caused by an accident such as anxiety, shock, emotional distress, grief, scarring, insomnia, inconvenience, humiliation, loss of enjoyment of life, inability to take part in pleasurable activities, or loss of a limb or organ (or its use).

When might I be eligible to recover pain and suffering damages?

To be eligible for pain and suffering damages, you must be able to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that you suffered the alleged harm or are certain to suffer in the future as a result of the defendant’s negligence.

How much money can I receive in compensation for pain and suffering?

Under California law, pain and suffering damages are not generally subject to a statutory cap. However, there are a few exceptions to this, including claims for medical malpractice. If you are injured by the malpractice of a medical professional, you may claim damages for pain and suffering, but they will be subject to a statutory cap of $250,000. Keep in mind that this is the maximum amount you can receive. That does not mean you will necessarily be entitled to $250,000 in pain and suffering damages in any medical malpractice claim.

In some instances where you played a certain adverse role in the circumstances of the accident in question, you may be ineligible to recover pain and suffering damages. For example, if you are injured while driving a vehicle without insurance, you will not be eligible for pain and suffering damages unless the other driver was driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

If you are injured while you are driving drunk and you are convicted of DUI, even if your injuries were caused by someone else’s negligence, you will be ineligible for pain and suffering damages.

Lastly, if you are injured by someone else’s negligence while you are committing or fleeing from a felony and you are convicted, you will not be eligible for pain and suffering damages.

Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Winning a personal injury case is no easy feat but trying to recover damages for your pain and suffering can be even more legally complex. If you have experienced emotional distress of any kind, pain, and/or suffering as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to non-economic damages.

Do not face the insurance companies alone. For the advice and representation from an advocate you can trust, contact the Law Office of Dan H. Rose today. We offer complimentary consultations and take personal injury cases on a contingency fee basis. That means that you only owe legal fees if you win your case in a favorable judgment or settlement. To schedule a consultation, contact us today at 415-946-8900.

Posted in General
January 25th, 2020 by Daniel Rose