If you are pursuing a personal injury claim in California, your damages are divided into two main categories—special (economic) and general (non-economic) damages.
Special damages include your financial losses, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage, that can be easily calculated using things like bills and receipts.
Your general damages, which can be a large percentage of your claim value, include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and anxiety.
They are more challenging to quantify. Understandably, potential clients want to know how we calculate pain and suffering damages and what they are entitled to receive.
California doesn’t have a specific formula or some sort of pain and suffering calculator that attorneys use to determine the amount of general damages.
To recover the maximum compensation for your general damages, you need to present evidence that you suffered this type of harm or will certainly suffer this harm in the future.
Your pain and suffering damages are directly related to your special or economic damages: the greater the one, the greater the other.
When your injuries are so severe that they impact your daily life, the value is likely going to be significantly higher.
What Losses Fall Under Pain and Suffering Damages?
Before calculating a pain and suffering amount, you must understand what losses fall under general damages.
Examples of losses that make up your pain and suffering settlement amount can include:
- Physical pain and suffering,
- Disfigurement or scarring,
- Emotional distress,
- Chronic pain,
- Mental anguish,
- Loss of a bodily function,
- Loss of consortium,
- Loss of enjoyment of life,
- Post-traumatic stress disorder, and
- Psychological injuries.
When you hire a skilled California personal injury lawyer at Weinberg Law Offices, we will go over all your damages and tell you what you are eligible to pursue in pain and suffering and other general damages.
As you can imagine, these damages are hard to put a dollar amount on. Because these are considered subjective losses, it’s crucial to have as much evidence as possible.
Evidence can come from various sources, including your medical records, doctors’ notes, photographs of your injuries, and proof of your physical activities and social activities before and after the accident.
Your attorney might want to get sworn testimony from family members or coworkers on how the accident changed your life.
If necessary, we may need to hire an expert who can testify on your loss of earning capacity and other future losses that can impact your pain and suffering settlement.
Calculating Pain and Suffering in a California Lawsuit
Everyone’s injuries are different and affect a victim’s life differently.
That’s why pain and suffering damages are calculated on an individual basis. Some insurance companies will try to use a pain and suffering calculator, resulting in faulty figures.
A calculator cannot take personal factors into account. Even accidents involving similar injuries can be worth entirely different amounts.
That is why it’s crucial to hire an attorney who can help you prepare the most robust case possible.
One of the more common ways to calculate pain and suffering is to multiply your economic damages by a specific number, typically one to five.
The higher the multiplier, the more serious your injuries are. Someone with minor soft tissue injuries in a car accident might only have a multiplier of one.
Someone else with a medical malpractice claim for operating on the wrong body part could have a multiplier of five.
Another option is to assign a dollar amount to each day you suffered from your injuries. The amount will vary depending on the severity of your injuries.
Perhaps it’s $100 a day or $500 a day, depending on the seriousness and impact of your physical injury. There is no exact amount for pain and suffering.
And whatever figure you come up with, the insurance company will argue that it’s too much. Their goal is to minimize their payout for your pain and suffering settlement.
Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer
If you sustained injuries in a personal injury loss caused by another party’s negligence, you have the right to pursue a claim for your damages.
To maximize your potential compensation, you need an experienced legal advocate on your side.
At Weinberg Law Offices, we have years of experience assisting injured victims in California.
We understand the complexities of calculating pain and suffering damages and can help you calculate your overall case value.
Don’t handle your personal injury claim independently and risk receiving far less than your case is worth.
We are here to answer all your personal injury questions and help you fight for the maximum amount of pain and suffering.