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Proving Pain, Suffering, and Mental Trauma in a Personal Injury Case

Proving Pain, Suffering, and Mental Trauma in a Personal Injury Case

Say you are in Orange County enjoying the sights of Crystal Cove State Park or the Downtown Disney District. Suddenly, someone slams into your car at a red light. You are injured and have tremendous pain, suffering, and mental trauma as you recover. What should you do?

If the other party is at fault, you may benefit by filing a personal injury lawsuit. Proving your medical bills and lost earnings is one thing, but how to prove pain and suffering? Learn how attorneys prove mental and physical suffering below, then contact the Orange County personal injury attorneys at the Law Office of Joseph Richards P.C. for assistance.

What Are Damages For Pain And Suffering?

Pain, suffering, and mental trauma in a personal injury case seek to pay you for the physical and psychological discomfort you endure because of someone’s negligence that caused your injury. Receiving compensation for mental and physical suffering in a personal injury lawsuit can include remuneration for many things:

  • Aches and pains from your injuries
  • Mental anguish and trauma
  • Inconvenience
  • Discomfort
  • Loss of the use of a limb or bodily function
  • Lowered quality of life
  • Psychological trauma

You may be able to sue for your physical and mental pain and suffering in many personal injury cases. Some of the most common cases are:

  • Auto accidents: If you are in a car accident and injured because of someone’s negligence or careless action, you could receive compensation for your mental and physical discomfort.
  • Job accident: Were you in an accident during your work and suffered an injury caused by a third-party? You could have mental and physical pain, and you deserve compensation.
  • Premises liability: If you slipped and fell on someone’s property because of a hazardous condition, you could be entitled to compensation.

How Do You Prove Pain And Suffering?

Your injury attorney will likely use several ways to prove your pain, suffering, and mental trauma. There are many documents they can use to establish the level of your pain and suffering:

Medical Bills

Suppose you fall and injure your back in a restaurant on a slick floor. Your attorney will collect your hundreds or thousands of medical bills to illustrate your pain and suffering.

Medical Records

The attorney can point to your medical records to illustrate your back injury diagnosis and the pain you feel. In addition, the doctor may provide a statement that quantifies how much physical and mental discomfort you have.

Injury Images

If you were in an auto accident and had visible injuries, images can be a powerful testimony to prove mental and physical suffering. For instance, if you have severe lacerations on your face from broken glass in an auto accident, this is strong evidence of psychological and physical trauma.

Mental Health Records

If you need to go to a psychologist to deal with your mental and emotional state after an accident, this may prove your pain and suffering. Whatever the cause of pain and suffering after the accident, your attorney will work with your doctors to provide conclusive proof. Remember to share your medical records with your attorney after the accident. These documents are critical to show your pain is worth it.

Major Injuries That Are Worth Substantial Compensation For Pain And Suffering

Many personal injury cases involve pain and suffering compensation for mental and physical trauma. However, the following injuries could result in a much higher pain and suffering payout:

  • Spinal cord injuries that cause partial or complete paralysis
  • Amputation or limb-crushing injury
  • Traumatic head injuries or severe brain damage
  • Loss of the ability to talk or understand speech
  • Severe burns over much of the body
  • Injuries that cause total loss of your eyesight
  • Loss of the reproductive organs or infertility

How Is Suffering For Pain And Suffering Calculated?

There is no standard formula to determine your mental and physical suffering. These damages are subjective and often left to the jury to determine in a lawsuit. A jury may use many ways to decide how much pain and suffering compensation you deserve. Some popular ways include what avoiding pain is worth, a per diem rate for your pain, and a cost-benefit analysis.

However, many personal injury cases are resolved in a settlement, not in court. Therefore, the insurance company may calculate your damages using a multiplier of 1-5. This number may be multiplied by your amount of medical bills and lost earnings to value your mental and physical suffering.

The insurance company will review the details of your accident and the extent of your injuries to determine their offer for your pain and suffering. Your attorney may counter with his own estimate.

The Liable Party May Low-Ball Your Pain And Suffering

One of the many benefits of hiring a personal injury attorney is to contest an insurance company’s lowball estimate of your pain and suffering. Unfortunately, it is common for insurance companies to underestimate the plaintiff’s pain and suffering so the insurer can pay less in claims.

However, your Orange County personal injury attorney knows how to negotiate aggressively with stingy insurance companies. They will understand what your injuries and mental and physical discomfort are worth.

Remember The California Statute Of Limitations

Regardless of the amount of pain and suffering compensation you may deserve, filing your claim within California’s statute of limitations is critical. Unfortunately, for most personal injury claims, the statute of limitations for a personal injury case is only two years in California. This means you must file the lawsuit within two years of the date of injury to take legal action. With rare exceptions, the statute of limitations ‘clock’ begins to run on the day you were injured. If your injury was caused by a governmental entity, the statute of limitations may be as short as 6 months. So, talk to an attorney as soon as possible.

Speak To Our Orange County Personal Injury Attorneys Today

If you were in an accident because of someone’s negligence, you have legal rights in California. For example, you could be entitled to compensation for your physical and mental pain and suffering, lost earnings, and medical bills.

The Law Office of Joseph Richards P.C. has experienced personal injury attorneys who will safeguard your legal rights. Contact us now at 888-883-6588. Our Orange County personal injury attorneys also represent injured clients in Riverside County, San Bernardino County, and the Inland Empire.