How California Personal Injury Lawyers Estimate Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering damages refer to the physical pain and emotional anguish that a victim may be experiencing after an injury that can affect their life post-accident so drastically that they may obtain monetary compensation in a personal injury claim. These types of damages are categorized as non-economic damages.

There is typically no set standard for how a judge may award or calculate pain and suffering damages. You often have to show evidence of emotional trauma and how it has negatively impacted your life post-accident. This will help the judge decide how much money to award for these types of damages. If you have endured terrible pain and suffering due to an accident caused by someone else’s negligent actions, contact a California personal injury lawyer for an assessment of your claim. 

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in California? 

While there is no fixed standard way of determining the amount of compensation you may be awarded for your pain and suffering damages in California, your lawyer may use the multiplier method to estimate the amount that may be awarded to you. This method uses the number of economic damages you will be awarded and multiplying by a number between one and five. The greater the injuries endured in the accident, the greater the suffering.

When calculating emotional pain and suffering, the victim must prove the extent of their physical injuries and post-accident suffering A judge will then determine a reasonable compensation amount for the damages endured. 

Objective evidence is used to prove subjective suffering. Examples of this include: 

  • Imaging tests such as x-rays and MRIs
  • Medical records and medical bills 
  • Comprehensive doctors’ and physical therapists’ notes
  • Photos documenting physical injuries and property damage 
  • Videos documenting before and after injury   
  • Social media, email, and text evidence  
  • Lost work time evidence 
  • Expert witnesses, friends, family, co-workers, and professional testimony 

If you obtain extensive evidence, you may be able to recoup pain and suffering damages. With the help of an experienced California personal injury attorney, you may build a strong claim to obtain the maximum compensation allotted for pain and suffering damages. 

How Does the Multiplier Method Work in California? 

A multiplier method is one way that attorneys or insurance adjusters can estimate the amount of pain and suffering damages you could be awarded. With this method, you add together the economic damages in the claim. This amount is then multiplied by numbers one through five, with three being the most common. The number is dependent on the severity of the injuries the victim has experienced in the accident. 

These types of claims typically use higher multipliers: 

  • Severe types of pain 
  • Lifelong medical care 
  • Lost wages due to disability 
  • Reduced quality of life 
  • Severe injuries such as broken bones 

A per diem method is also used. With this method, a dollar amount is calculated for each day the victim experiences pain and suffering because of an accident. The daily rate is often based on the victim’s daily earnings pre-accident. 

Other Conditions That May Be Compensated Due to Pain and Suffering 

California law acknowledges pain and suffering as non-economic damages in a personal injury claim. Other non-economic conditions that may qualify for compensation include: 

  • Scarring 
  • Shock 
  • Psychological trauma 
  • Grief 
  • Emotional distress 
  • Loss of quality of life 
  • Loss of a limb
  • Loss of an organ 
  • Loss of enjoyment of life 

There is no typical way of determining the amount of pain and suffering damages you may get in California. However, the methods explained above are a few ways they may be calculated. Additionally, California does not have a compensation cap on the amount of compensation you may receive, although some exceptions may apply. Speak with a seasoned personal injury lawyer for guidance on how to best navigate your claim to be awarded the maximum compensation possible. 

Speak with a California Personal Injury Lawyer at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. 

If a severe accident has affected your life with emotional pain and suffering, speak with a personal injury lawyer at Eric Ratinoff Law Corp. for your best chance to recoup compensation for pain and suffering damages. A seasoned attorney can assist you in building a solid claim and customizing our legal strategy based on the needs of your claim. 

Attorney Eric Ratinoff has 25 years of experience representing victims in California and helping them navigate the legal complexities of their personal injury claims. We offer award-winning representation on a contingency-fee basis that ensures that we work to get you the best possible outcome. Call (916) 970-9100 or fill out our contact form for a free consultation.