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Evaluating Pain and Suffering

Thursday, December 13, 2018By Richard Alexander

If you decide to file a personal injury claim after being hurt in an accident, one of the most important questions you will ask is what you could potentially recover. The damages you can receive from the party responsible for your injuries falls into two categories: economic (special) damages and non-economic or general damages.

The first category encompasses losses that are easy to calculate such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and out-of-pocket expenses. The second category encompasses injuries that are less readily quantifiable- namely pain and suffering. Pain and suffering refer to physical suffering, emotional pain, mental stress, and any diminution in quality of life related to injuries from the accident. Pain and suffering do not include actual medical expenses. Because these damages are not tied to specific economic losses, the determination of damages for pain and suffering is usually made on an individualized case by case basis and considers damages granted in similar cases.

There is no set standard for determining noneconomic damages in California. In evaluating compensation for pain and suffering, a court will generally look at two sources pf information: medical bills and the the degree of plaintiff’s injuries. The medical statements associated with treatment often provide insight into the nature of the injury and how extensive the damage was. High medical bills or serious injuries that leave permanent damage would suggest larger awards for pain and suffering.

Another factor that affects your claim for pain and suffering is the length of time it takes to recover from your injuries. If pain and suffering persist well into the future or are accompanied by permanent disability, then the request for damages should be higher. Retaining evidence of the impact of the pain and suffering on your lifestyle will help bolster your case.

Finally, the type of injry suffered by the plaintiff will have a significant effect on the determination of compensation for pain and suffering. Certain injuries, like broken bones, are presumed to be painful, making it easier to set a value for pain and suffering. Other injuries, such as soft tissue injuries, are not detectable on imaging devices. Claimants with soft tissue injuries may face additional challenges in recovering for pain and suffering.

If you or a member of your family suffered injury or death as a result of negligence or a defective automobile, contact the attorneys Alexander Law Group, LLP. Our exceptional personal injury lawyers will answer your questions and get you the maximum compensation that is possible. Call 888.777.1776 or contact us online.

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