A personal injury prevents you from having a normal daily routine and seriously degrades your quality of life. Whether you have too much pain to participate in your favorite activities or have trouble managing anxiety, your injury may cause you to suffer for many years. In this situation, you may be wondering, How can I prove my pain and suffering for an injury claim in California?
Here’s an overview of how California law defines pain and suffering and the things you can do to aid your claim.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
California law refers to pain and suffering as non-economic damages, which means any “subjective, non-monetary losses.” Typically, non-economic include things like:
- Chronic pain,
- Mental anguish,
- Emotional distress,
- Loss of consortium, and
- Loss of society and companionship.
Essentially, all of these losses are some form of pain and suffering. However, since they affect everyone differently and don’t have a standard financial value, they are difficult to prove. That being said, there are ways to show the impact of your injury on your day-to-day life when you start building your claim.
Ways You Can Help Prove Pain and Suffering in Your Claim
While it’s easy to calculate financial losses based on receipts, bills, or quotes, damages that fall under pain and suffering aren’t as straightforward. This is why it’s important to start collecting evidence of your non-economic losses as soon as possible. Here are a few methods that you can use to show your pain and suffering in an injury claim.
Keep Track of Medical Treatment Records
The first and often best way to establish the seriousness of your subjective losses is to have thorough medical documentation. Oftentimes, your medical records show the progression of your injury and contain notes about whatever pain you describe to your doctor. This creates an official record of your pain that your doctor ties directly to your diagnosis or condition. Since medical records are more objective, it adds legitimacy to the claim if your symptoms coincide with the injury.
Keep a Journal About Your Day-to-Day Difficulties
This method of collecting evidence of pain and suffering is often overlooked. However, it is one of the most effective ways of showing the daily challenges you experience after your injury. For example, if you sustain a spinal cord injury, you might write down accounts of how hard it is to get out of bed, run errands, or play with the kids. While this may be subjective evidence, it can carry significant weight if it corresponds with your medical condition and testimony from other parties.
Ask Friends and Family for Testimony
Sometimes the most objective evidence of pain and suffering comes from those who witness how your injury affects you. The testimony of friends and family might play an important role in your case. Their point of view helps validate your pain and suffering, especially if the insurance company questions your own claims.
Get a Statement from Your Doctor or Therapist
While medical records do contain some information about your symptoms, sometimes it’s not enough to convince an insurance company or courtroom. In these situations, you may benefit from expert testimony, especially from your doctor or therapist. Their role is to explain what types of limitations people with your injury can expect and whether they have a chance of improving.
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages
Due to the subjective nature of pain and suffering, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach to calculating non-economic damages. Instead, attorneys use custom calculations to determine these losses. However, many use some form of the multiplier method, which consists of multiplying the total economic damages by a single-digit number. Usually, the more serious the injury is, the higher the multiplier they use.
Injured Due to Another’s Negligence? Contact Silva Injury Law Today
If you’re wondering, How can I prove my pain and suffering for an injury claim in California, you probably have other questions about your claim. You need a compassionate advocate who has extensive experience in personal injury. At Silva Injury Law, we have a history of outstanding results and are always willing to offer guidance no matter what step of the process you’re at. To schedule a free consultation, contact us online or give us a call.
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At Silva Injury Law we promote healing through compassionate advocacy. With each case tailored to the individual, we look our for your best interests by evaluating your unique circumstances. Contact us today for a FREE in person or remote consultation.