Calculating Pain and Suffering in California

how is pain and suffering calculated

Being involved in an accident is never easy. And when physical pain and emotional trauma result, the toll on you can be even more devastating.  

While the pathway toward recovery may not always be easy, know that you may have a legal claim for relief.

In many cases, personal injury accidents result in severe injuries that require extensive medical treatment. And in some cases, you may also be able to seek damages to compensate for the pain and suffering you have experienced. 

Dealing with the aftermath of an accident can be scary. But with the right team in your corner, you can fight for the compensation you need and deserve. If you were involved in an accident in California, contact the personal injury attorneys at Saeedian Law Group to see how we can help you recover. 

What Damages Can I Recover?

After an accident, there are a number of expenses you may incur as a result. But exactly what types of expenses will you be able to recover? 

Generally, a personal injury accident victim can recover what are called compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate you for the harm you suffered in the accident and help make you whole. 

Compensatory damages are separated into economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include things such as:

  • Medical bills,
  • Costs of therapy,
  • Lost wages,
  • Loss in earning capacity, and
  • Costs of prescription medication.

Typically, economic damages present little difficulty to calculate, as they are usually readily ascertainable dollar values. Non-economic damages, on the other hand, can be more difficult to calculate. 

Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, anxiety, and emotional distress. Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages don’t necessarily have any specific monetary value associated with them. 

So you might be wondering, How is pain and suffering calculated? In California, pain and suffering calculation typically occurs in one of two ways: the multiplier method or the per diem method. These two methods for calculating pain and suffering damages in California are described in more detail below. 

Multiplier Method

One of the most common methods for calculating pain and suffering damages is the multiplier method.
The multiplier method takes the total value of a plaintiff’s economic damages and multiplies it by a number between one and five depending on the severity of the injuries and suffering. The result is the estimated amount of pain and suffering damages the plaintiff may be able to recover. 

Per Diem Method

Another way to estimate your potential pain and suffering damages in California is the per diem method.  

The per diem method assigns a dollar amount to each day the plaintiff experienced pain and suffering. The court will then determine how long the victim experienced pain and suffering as a result of the injuries caused by the personal injury accident. The dollar value is then multiplied by the number of days, resulting in the total estimated amount of pain and suffering damages owed to the plaintiff.

Of course, it’s important to remember that there is no reliable pain and suffering calculator for California personal injury claims that will determine the exact amount of damages you may be owed with any certainty. However, these types of methods can help you obtain a realistic estimate of what you might be able to recover.

Proving Pain and Suffering in California

It’s also important to remember that there is never a guarantee of pain and suffering damages in any given case. Thus, you must be able to prove that such damages are proper.

Because there’s no automatic formula for pain and suffering, the value depends on the extent of pain and suffering you can demonstrate to the court. 

There are a number of different ways you can prove you endured pain and suffering in the wake of the accident. Though psychological issues aren’t required to recover pain and suffering damages, providing proof of a mental health diagnosis following the accident could bolster your claim. 

Other ways you may be able to prove your pain and suffering damages include:

  • Medical records detailing the extent of your injuries;
  • Relevant photographs of your injuries;
  • Journal entries;
  • Social media posts;
  • Testimony of friends and family; and
  • Expert testimony about the extent of your suffering.

Recovering the pain and suffering damages you deserve can seem like a daunting task. However, an experienced personal injury attorney can alleviate your worries by helping you determine the value of your personal injury claim and gathering crucial evidence to help you support your case.

Limitations on Pain and Suffering in California

There are a few notable limitations on the ability to recover pain and suffering damages in California. 

First, California prohibits pain and suffering damages in workers’ compensation claims. Additionally, California limits the amount of pain and suffering damages available in medical malpractice claims. For medical malpractice claims, all non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, have a $250,000 limit.

California Civil Code section 3333.4 also prohibits certain car accident victims from recovering pain and suffering damages, including:

  • Individuals convicted of DUI in connection with the accident;
  • Those who owned a vehicle involved in the accident that was uninsured or underinsured; and
  • Anyone driving a vehicle involved in the accident that was uninsured or underinsured.

If the driver responsible for the accident receives a DUI conviction stemming from the accident, this prohibition doesn’t apply and you can recover non-economic damages.

Looking for a Pain and Suffering Calculator in California? Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today

While there is no reliable pain and suffering calculator in California, there are ways that you can determine what you might be able to recover. 

Not all online damages calculators will be accurate. Often, the best way to get a sense of the potential recoverable damages in your particular case is to consult with an experienced legal professional. 

At Saeedian Law Group, we fight each day for the rights of injury victims in need. With over a decade of experience and a proven record of success, know that you can trust us with your legal needs.  

Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your case and see what Saeedian Law Group can do for you.