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Ewing Law Group, PC

Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in California?

Ewing Law Group, PC

May 3, 2024

After a serious accident, there are many losses that you can experience, such as losing a car or wages. Many costs can be easily valued, such as the repair bills for the car or the amount of lost wages. However, some losses are not easily calculable. Pain and suffering is another loss that you may have as a result of an accident. Many people often ask, “Can you sue for pain and suffering in California?”

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering, in legal terms, means that a person has experienced physical discomfort and emotional trauma. However, any form of mental issues or physical issues that result from a personal injury accident can be included within this label.

Pain and suffering damages are a form of non-economic damages for which individuals can make a claim. It is possible for a victim of a personal injury case to receive compensation for these non-economic damages, even if it is more difficult to establish a monetary value on them. If you have experienced an accident and wish to file a personal injury claim, it is suggested that you hire a Sacramento personal injury attorney to assist you.

There are several factors to consider when evaluating your pain and suffering damages, including:

  • Physical Pain: This is the actual physical pain that you are experiencing due to a personal injury. It includes consistent, strong pain and less severe aches.
  • Emotional Distress: Referring to the trauma that resulted from the accident, this includes post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, or any other mental issues.
  • Loss of Enjoyment: If an injury has affected your ability to enjoy hobbies, outdoor activities, or time with loved ones, you may be owed compensation.
  • Disfigurement or Scarring: When an injury results in a heavily changed appearance, including scarring or disfigurement, compensation may be owed to you.
  • Decreased Quality of Life: If you experience the inability to work or perform daily activities like you once did before your accident, you may be entitled to compensation.

What Are the Types of Pain and Suffering Claims?

There are several different types of pain and suffering injuries for which a person can file a claim. Some of these include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Consistent rage
  • Embarrassment
  • Reputational damage
  • Humiliation
  • Grief
  • Physical impairment
  • Sexual dysfunction

Additionally, pain and suffering can involve things that you are no longer able to participate in or enjoy due to the accident. Losses of enjoyment, quality of life, and companionship fall under this category. If you wish to receive compensation for these losses, you must provide evidence that you have suffered these damages due to the accident.

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?

It is difficult to give an exact financial value to pain and suffering damages, as they are not necessarily tangible damages. They are much different from a car accident resulting in a totaled vehicle or a damaged bike after a bicycle accident. As there are no set formulas to determine non-economic losses, there are other factors that can be evaluated to come to a fair compensation amount. Some of these include:

  • Severity of injuries sustained. The more severe the injury, the more money you are likely entitled to receive.
  • Length of time that you suffered. If you have spent a long time suffering from the injuries that you sustained after the accident, this can result in increased compensation.
  • Impact on daily life. When injuries affect your ability to perform everyday tasks, this can qualify you for a higher compensation amount.
  • Emotional and psychological effects. If you have experienced serious trauma, including depression and anxiety, these factors come into consideration when determining the value of your damages.
  • Comparative negligence. If you are partially responsible for the accident, your pain and suffering damages may be decreased in proportion to the amount of blame that you share.
  • Settlement negotiations. In many cases, a negotiation for a settlement may be involved when pursuing compensation for pain and suffering damages. That process can have an impact on the amount awarded to the victim.

With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you will need to put together evidence to help prove the emotional and physical damages that you have experienced.


Q: What Can Affect Your Pain and Suffering Claim?

A: There are several factors that can affect your pain and suffering claim. These may include:

  • The severity of the injuries that you have sustained
  • The impact that your injuries have had on your daily life
  • How long it has taken you to recover from your injuries if you have done so at all
  • Whether you share fault for the accident

Q: What Is the New Law for Pain and Suffering in California?

A: The new law for pain and suffering in California allows the victim's loved ones or their estate representative to continue the victims' claim for pain and suffering damages, even after the person’s death. If a victim’s damages are not settled before their death, that victim’s family member or another representative may continue to go forward with the case through survival action.

Q: How Can You Prove Emotional Distress?

A: The way to prove emotional distress is to document as much as you can. This includes all of your medical records, such as any therapy sessions or any diagnoses related to your mental state after the incident. It also helps to include anyone who can serve as a witness to testify, as well as written evidence, such as journal entries, regarding your mental state after the accident occurred.

Q: Can You Sue Someone for Emotional Distress in California?

A: Yes, you can sue someone for emotional distress in California. Two examples of claims that you may file are the intentional or negligent infliction of emotional distress. Intentional infliction claims involve a case where the defendant has purposefully caused harm to the plaintiff. Negligent infliction involves cases where the defendant does not purposefully harm the plaintiff.

Consult a Sacramento Personal Injury Attorney

Some of your losses after a serious accident are not easily calculable. It is helpful, then, to have the aid of a Sacramento personal injury lawyer to maximize the compensation that you are entitled to. Contact the Ewing Law Group, PC, for assistance with your case.

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