San Diego Pain and Suffering Lawsuit

In many Personal Injury lawsuits, damage claims are made for pain and suffering. Similar to the differences between economic and non-economic damages, some pain and suffering claims can be hard to quantify. Two types of damage claims are involved: physical and mental. The physical pain and suffering is easier to assess than mental pain and suffering, which is highly subjective. Both types of pain and suffering can last far into the injured person’s future, to cause physical and financial problems while disrupting normal lifestyles.

Pain and Suffering

Following an injury accident, the victim who suffered harm will experience different types of pain and suffering; sometimes it is physical, sometimes mental, and in many cases, both types. Accident injures can be simple, like a bruise or scrape, or they can be extensive and severe, like cuts, amputation of a limb, a concussion or death. Bodily injuries are easy to ascertain, and it is expected that with any injury to the body, the victim will also suffer pain.

Mental or emotional pain is less visible and is only felt by the victim internally. The effects of these types of injury can be described many ways. Anxiety, fear, loss of enjoyment of normal lifestyle, shock, depression, anger and humiliation are just a few examples of mental or emotional pain and suffering. Loss of a loved one can also cause non-physical pain and suffering. In addition to financial costs for a funeral and burial, survivors suffer pain and suffering from losing their companion, guardian and all the future experiences they might have shared had that person not been killed.

Personal Injury – Lawsuit Claims

In a Personal Injury lawsuit, claims for pain and suffering include physical and mental aftereffects that relate to being injured. Many types of pain and suffering are mental or emotional, rather than physical. These can last long into the person’s future, as they continue to deal with the impact upon their lives that the original physical harm had upon their life.

Lawsuit claims in a Personal Injury case include economic and non-economic items. The things that have a price tag or bill are easy to calculate. Other claims, especially for mental or emotional pain and suffering are tougher to calculate. A person’s lifestyle may change completely after an injury, as they come to grips with fear, anger, anxiety, loss of their ability to participate in normal activities, or being unable return to work. There is a long list of negative emotions that might be included in injury claims.

Again, the primary goal for winning a Personal Injury lawsuit is proving negligence and liability for injuries. After all the facts and evidence are examined, your attorney will help you get through settlement talks or a court trial and judgment to obtain fair compensation for your injuries, including non-physical pain and suffering. A settlement or award should include fair compensation for all types of injury and any related property damage. The end result should be monetary compensation for current and future financial expenses, plus additional awards for non-economic damages. In some cases, a jury will also award the plaintiff punitive damages.

Types of Pain and Suffering Injuries

Pain and suffering are non-economic damages that can result from various types of injuries. Here are some common injuries that often lead to claims for pain and suffering:

  1. Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBI): These can result in chronic headaches, cognitive impairments, and emotional distress.
  2. Spinal Cord Injuries: Leading to paralysis, chronic pain, and reduced quality of life.
  3. Broken Bones and Fractures: Painful to heal and often cause long-term discomfort and limited mobility.
  4. Burn Injuries: Result in severe pain, scarring, and emotional trauma.
  5. Soft Tissue Injuries: Such as whiplash or torn ligaments, causing ongoing pain and functional limitations.
  6. Amputations: Result in phantom limb pain and significant lifestyle changes.
  7. Internal Injuries: Such as organ damage, which can cause prolonged pain and require extensive medical treatment.
  8. Emotional and Psychological Injuries: Including PTSD, anxiety, and depression following a traumatic event.

These injuries often have profound impacts on an individual’s physical and emotional well-being, justifying compensation for pain and suffering.

Causes of Pain and Suffering Injuries

Pain and suffering injuries can result from a variety of accidents, each presenting unique risks and impacts on victims. Here are some common causes:

1. Bike Accidents

Bike accidents often lead to severe injuries due to the lack of protection for cyclists. Common injuries include:

  • Head Injuries: Traumatic brain injuries and concussions.
  • Fractures and Broken Bones: Particularly in the arms, legs, and collarbone.
  • Road Rash: Severe skin abrasions from contact with the pavement.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprains, strains, and torn ligaments.

2. Auto Accidents

Auto accidents are a leading cause of pain and suffering injuries, which can include:

  • Whiplash: Neck pain and stiffness from rapid back-and-forth movement.
  • Spinal Cord Injuries: Leading to paralysis or chronic pain.
  • Fractures: Broken ribs, legs, and arms.
  • Internal Injuries: Damage to organs, which can be life-threatening.

3. Work Injuries

Workplace injuries can occur in various environments, causing significant pain and suffering:

  • Repetitive Strain Injuries: Carpal tunnel syndrome and tendonitis from repetitive motions.
  • Back Injuries: From lifting heavy objects or improper ergonomics.
  • Falls: Resulting in fractures, sprains, and head injuries.
  • Exposure to Harmful Substances: Leading to respiratory issues or chemical burns.

4. Construction Accidents

Construction sites pose numerous hazards, resulting in severe injuries such as:

  • Falls from Heights: Leading to broken bones, spinal injuries, and traumatic brain injuries.
  • Crush Injuries: From heavy machinery or collapsing structures.
  • Electrocution: Severe burns and nerve damage from electrical accidents.
  • Tool-Related Injuries: Lacerations, amputations, and eye injuries from tools and equipment.

5. Motorcycle Accidents

Motorcycle accidents often result in serious injuries due to the rider’s exposure:

  • Road Rash: Severe skin abrasions and infections.
  • Head Injuries: Even with helmets, concussions and traumatic brain injuries can occur.
  • Fractures: Broken limbs and ribs from impact with the road or other vehicles.
  • Spinal Injuries: Leading to paralysis or chronic pain.

6. Slip and Fall Accidents

Slip and fall accidents can occur anywhere, leading to various injuries:

  • Fractures: Especially in the hips, wrists, and ankles.
  • Head Injuries: Concussions and traumatic brain injuries from hitting the ground.
  • Back and Spinal Injuries: Leading to chronic pain or paralysis.
  • Soft Tissue Injuries: Sprains and strains from sudden falls.

Each of these accidents can cause significant physical and emotional distress, justifying claims for pain and suffering in personal injury cases.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Trying to calculate a monetary value for pain and suffering can be difficult to assess. Just as the physical injuries create financial costs, so do mental or emotional injuries. The victim may need extensive psychological treatment and therapy to get past their pain and suffering. They may have a fear of driving and be unable to work again. Even non-physical injury cases, like discrimination, can cause stress and financial costs to a victim.

In making the calculations of value for claims of pain and suffering, there are not set rules. A jury generally has plenty of leeway to determine the amount of compensation equal to a plaintiff’s pain and suffering claims. In some cases, a state will have a cap on this type of award. Sometimes a multiplier is used, perhaps 3 times the amount awarded for economic claims. Still, this area of justice is flexible and depends on many factors.

An award may be affected by the jury’s interpretation of the plaintiff’s personality and apparent honesty. They may be swayed by how the plaintiff acts on the witness stand, are they likeable, credible and consistent in their testimony, or do they appear to be exaggerating their claims. Supporting medical evidence may play a part in the award determination also. How the plaintiff conducts themselves on the stand and how they answer questions can also sway the jury. If they have a criminal record, appear to be lying or the case does not make sense to the jury, these claims could be denied.

Pain and Suffering Practice Areas

A Personal Injury Attorney has the knowledge and skills needed to help you recover fair compensation when your life is affected negatively by someone else’s careless behavior. You do not deserve to suffer pain or financial duress when another person or company was negligent and the result harmed you. It is worthwhile to consult with a lawyer about this area of legal protection if you believe you have been harmed in any way. You may have encountered discrimination at the workplace or been injured while on-the-job. Both situations will result in different types of pain and suffering, but the outcome is the same. Your injury was unwarranted, caused by careless behavior or a deliberate act.

Take time to arrange for a free consultation about your injury situation and to determine if further legal action is warranted. Call our experienced San Diego Personal Injury Attorney now to get started.

References

  1. FindLaw – Pain and Suffering Damages
  2. NOLO – Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case
  3. Law.com – Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case
  4. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) – Bicycle Safety
  5. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) – Common Workplace Injuries
  6. National Safety Council – Construction Safety
  7. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) – Motor Vehicle Safety
  8. Slip and Fall Accident Statistics – National Floor Safety Institute