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Pain and Emotional Distress

When a person is involved in an accident caused by the negligence or wrongful act of another, they may very well suffer physical injuries that are debilitating, painful, and expensive to treat. In addition to physical injuries, though, it’s possible to suffer psychological injuries and emotional distress as a result of an accident. In California, you can recover compensation for both your economic losses (medical bills and missed time from work) and your noneconomic losses, such as the value of your pain and emotional distress. Here’s what you should know about pain and emotional distress in a personal injury lawsuit—

What Types of Non Economic Damages Are Recoverable in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

California law allows for the recovery of both economic (actually monetary losses) and non-economic (intangible) losses. Types of non-economic damages that are recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit include damages for:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Mental anguish
  • Grief
  • Shock
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Diminished quality of life
  • Any other damages suffered by the victim that do not have a specific cost attached to them

How Are Damages for Pain and Emotional Distress Calculated?

While calculating damages for economic losses, such as the value of lost wages or medical bills, is straightforward and is based on the actual cost or value of the loss, calculating damages for non-economic losses like pain and emotional distress is much more complicated. Regarding past and future noneconomic damages, jury instructions in the state of California, found in CACI No. 3905A read that, “No fixed standard exists for deciding the amount of these non-economic damages. You must use your judgment to decide a reasonable amount based on the evidence and your common sense.”

With that in mind, factors that may be considered by a judge or jury in calculating the value of non-economic damages include:

  • The value of the victim’s economic losses
  • The severity of the physical injury and for how long the physical injury is expected to impact the victim’s life
  • The age of the victim
  • The degree of recklessness, intent, or negligence of the defendant
  • The strength of the evidence that supports the victim’s claim of non-economic loss, such as statements from doctors and psychologists, testimony from family members, photos of the injuries, journal entries from the victim, etc. 

Our Law Firm Has Recovered Tens of Millions in Non-Economic Damages.

Physical injuries are often accompanied by psychological injuries, especially when injuries are severe. At El Dabe Ritter Trial Lawyers, our experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyers want to make sure that you recover the full value of your economic and noneconomic losses. We’ll support you by building your claim, building out your case strategy, calculating the value of your losses, and presenting evidence that you deserve to be fully compensated for your losses. We are skilled lawyers, negotiators, and litigators with a track record of success.

To learn more about our law firm and how we can help you when you need it most, schedule a free consultation with our team by sending us a message or calling us directly today.