Personal Injury Attorney In California

Non-Economic Damages in an Auto Accident Case

Posted on March 11, 2024

Car Insurance

When a person is injured in a car accident, they will file a claim with an insurance company, and the insurance company will pay the collision-related bills. Insurance pays for things such as medical bills and prescription drugs. They also pay for any wages you lost due to your accident. It is fairly easy to be reimbursed for things like Uber rides and maid services. When people are  injured, they often cannot even clean their own homes or drive. 

A person who is injured in an accident may have severe emotional distress. They may experience PTSD and their quality of life may go downhill. If this happens, you may be able to recover money for emotional payment for suffering. Pain and suffering is a legal term for non-economic damages caused by an accident. 

Having an accident may negatively affect your life. If you are permanently disabled you may have a difficult time getting a job. You may be passed up for promotions. People who are disabled may experience a reduced quality of life because they are unable to enjoy activities they used to enjoy.

Placing a dollar amount on emotional trauma you have suffered can be very complex. If you have gone to see a mental health professional due to your injuries, you can save the bills as proof of what you paid. However, it may be more challenging to put a value on anything else.

What Is Considered Pain and Suffering?

Although the term pain and suffering may be vague, there are some things an insurance company or court will look for when they determine if they should award non-economic damages.

Panic attacks, long-term depression, and substance abuse are symptoms of pain and suffering. It is important to establish these things were the direct result of the accident.

If you have experienced insomnia, feelings of guilt for no reason, or extreme weight gain or loss, it may be related to your accident as well. 

How to Prove Emotional Pain and Suffering 

The attorneys at the King Law Firm work hard to show insurance companies that your injuries have had a strong emotional impact on you. There are a few pieces of evidence you can gather to establish non-economic damages. 

Keep a Daily Journal

You should write a daily journal detailing your physical and emotional struggles after an accident. You can also make a video journal of your daily life. You should be as thorough as possible in this journal. Discuss your daily life and mention the things that have changed because of your accident and how you feel about those changes. 

Talk about your plans for the future and how they have changed due to your accident. If people treat you differently since you had your accident, you should mention that as well.

Psychiatric Reports

If you have undergone any type of mental health care treatment, have your psychiatrist or therapist write a report detailing your progress. Although it can be embarrassing to have others find out what you are discussing in therapy, it can be helpful to win your case

Witness Testimony

Friends, family members, and coworkers can make very good witnesses when it comes to a pain and suffering case. They understand what you were like before and after your accident. They can also testify how your behavior affects those around you.

Expert Witnesses

An expert witness in a pain and suffering case is often a professional, but not necessarily your psychiatrist. An expert witness may testify about suicide and depression rates of people who have been injured in a way similar to you. They may examine you and give you a series of tests to find out if you are suffering from any psychiatric conditions.

The defense may hire an expert witness for their side to examine and diagnose you. If you watched the famed Depp Versus Heard trial you know Dr. Shannon Curry, an expert witness for Johnny Depp’s team, tested and examined Amber Heard and concluded she did not have PTSD.

Are There Limits to Pain and Suffering in California?

If you have been injured by a doctor and are suing them for medical malpractice, non-economic damages are limited to $250,000. If you are suing anyone else, there are no limits on these types of awards.

Why You Should Hire Us 

Ever since he graduated from law school Magna Cum Laude, attorney Kenneth King has fought hard for the rights of the little guy. He has helped his clients recover $50,000,000 over the course of his career. He and our team of trained personal injury professionals will work hard to get you the money you deserve. Give us a call today.

Category: Car Accident