25 Examples of Pain and Suffering and Emotional Distress

signs of suffering and emotional distress

You may know you can seek financial reimbursement for your medical bills and property damage repairs after a negligence-related personal injury accident in California, but it could also be possible to recover for intangible losses. Intangible losses are those not related to economic hardship, such as physical pain and emotional suffering. Legal representation could help you assign a fair and reasonable dollar amount to pain, suffering and emotional distress damages during a personal injury lawsuit in Sacramento. Speak to an injury and accident lawyer to learn more about this subject

Pain and Suffering and Emotional Distress


What Are Pain and Suffering and Emotional Distress in a Settlement?

The two most common noneconomic damage awards in a personal injury lawsuit are pain and suffering, and emotional distress. While these damages do not inflict measurable financial losses on the plaintiff, they are very real for the victim. As the survivor of a personal injury accident in California, you or your loved ones may have suffered great emotional and/or physical anguish that deserves compensation.

The civil courts will allow you or your lawyer to request a specific amount you believe reasonably matches the pain and suffering or emotional distress you and your family members suffered. This amount can vary significantly depending on the facts of the case. A jury will ultimately decide whether to grant or deny this type of financial award. It is possible to receive an award for economic damages without economic damages in a civil lawsuit, and vice versa.

Physical Pain and Suffering Examples

A personal injury can be substantially painful for a victim in a physical sense. An injury such as a broken bone, laceration or burn injury can inflict immense physical pain and suffering on the patient. This pain could last days, weeks or months.

  • Back pain
  • Slipped disk pain
  • Neck pain
  • Muscle strain or sprain
  • Pulled muscle pain
  • Dislocation pain
  • Headaches
  • Nerve damage
  • Broken bone pain

Some cases involve chronic pain that will continue into the foreseeable future. Each patient will experience unique levels of pain and suffering. In general, however, a jury will award greater compensation for physical pain for severe and catastrophic injuries compared to minor injuries.

Emotional Distress Examples

Emotional distress is the other main category for noneconomic damages. Emotional distress refers to the victim’s emotional response to the accident and/or injuries, such as fear, sadness, anxiety, depression or grief. Several emotional, mental and psychological damages can fall under the category of emotional distress during an injury claim.

  • Diminished quality of life
  • Lost enjoyment of life
  • Cognitive changes after a head injury
  • Distress over a disability
  • Embarrassment or humiliation
  • Psychological trauma
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Losing sleep
  • Anger or frustration

Any nonphysical results of the accident or injury could fall under the umbrella of pain, suffering and emotional distress. The courts do not list specific losses that will qualify for noneconomic damage awards. Instead, a jury will assess each individual case to determine whether the plaintiff is eligible for this type of compensation.

Loss of Consortium Examples

Another category of financial relief that could fall under noneconomic damages relates to wrongful death in Sacramento. If you lost a loved one in a preventable accident and are seeking compensation for the death, you (along with other surviving family members) could be eligible for special damages. These could include grief, mental anguish or loss of consortium. Loss of consortium could refer to the deprivation of many things only the deceased person could provide.

  • Love and affection
  • Care
  • Companionship
  • Knowledge
  • Parental guidance
  • Spousal intimacy
  • Household services

Only certain cases will make a plaintiff eligible for loss of consortium damages. Calculating all types of pain, suffering and emotional distress damages often takes assistance from a Sacramento trial attorney. A lawyer will understand the common equations the courts use to calculate pain and suffering damages and can use them to request a reasonable amount for you as a plaintiff. A Sacramento accident lawyer may be able to convince a judge and/or jury to grant you a noneconomic damage award.