Is There a Limit on Pain and Suffering in California?

Pain and Suffering is a real fallout from crashes. Every year, more than 37,000 in the U.S. die in traffic accidents. More than 2 million people who survive motor vehicle accidents suffer serious injuries. It’s no surprise, then, that car accidents result in damages of more than $200 billion every year.

A large portion of these damages are the result of pain and suffering. This is because Orange County car accident lawyers who sue on behalf of their clients demand that they be compensated for pain and suffering in addition to economic damages. Every case is unique. However, there are certain rules that apply to every California car accident lawsuit.

Who is Eligible for Pain and Suffering?

Not all accident victims are eligible for pain and suffering. Some people believe that they’ll be awarded millions of dollars if they file suit. That isn’t the case. Most accident claims are resolved long before the case goes to trial. Orange County car accident lawyers work hard to settle their cases so their clients can move forward with their lives as quickly as possible.

In order to demand damages above and beyond property damage and medical bills, a plaintiff needs to demonstrate that they were seriously injured. When your Orange County accident lawyer files your lawsuit, they’ll make sure to include a demand for pain and suffering. They can only do this if you suffered a significant amount of physical pain and mental anguish. If you only suffered cosmetic damage to your vehicle or a minor injury like whiplash, it’ll be hard to prove that you suffered to the extent where compensation is warranted.

Your Orange County Car Accident Lawyer Must Prove Damages

In order to prove pain and suffering, your attorney will have to demonstrate that you actually suffered. They can do this in several ways. Some of the evidence that can help justify your pain and suffering include the following:

  • Medical records such as x-rays, MRI, and physical therapy
  • Testimony from your friends and family
  • Video recordings
  • Expert witnesses
  • Pictures of scars or permanent injuries to your body
  • Your own statement

If there is sufficient proof that you experienced extreme pain and suffering, you should be awarded additional damages. Since every case is different, there’s no guarantee as to how much you may receive.

California Does Not Put a Cap on Pain and Suffering

Some states limit the amount of money you can demand in pain and suffering. Thankfully, California is not one of these states. In California, there is no cap on pain and suffering unless the case involves medical malpractice. In malpractice cases, you can only demand $250,000 in pain and suffering unless your Orange County car accident lawyer can show intent or gross negligence. For all other cases, there’s no limit on how much you can receive.

How Much Can Your Orange County Car Accident Attorney Demand?

Assuming your case doesn’t involve medical malpractice, there’s no limit on how much you can demand in pain and suffering. Most attorneys use a simple formula to help determine how much they should demand on your behalf.

The formula used to calculate these damages involves multiplying your economic damages by 3. For cases involving very serious or permanent injuries, the multiplier may be as high as 5. Conversely, cases involving minor injuries may use a lower multiplier, such as 1 or 2. Knowing that there’s a good chance your attorney will settle your case, you would want to keep this number high, so you have room to negotiate.

Not All Plaintiffs Will Be Entitled to Pain and Suffering

Not all car accident victims are eligible for pain and suffering. If your accident was minor and your injuries aren’t serious, you probably won’t be entitled to pain and suffering. For example, if you’re involved in a rear-end accident and don’t suffer any physical injuries, you can’t expect to receive pain and suffering. The same is true for people whose injuries are only minor. If you sprain your wrist and it heals within a few weeks, you shouldn’t expect to receive much in the way of pain and suffering.

Schedule a Free Consultation With an Experienced Orange County Car Accident Lawyer Today

If you’ve been injured in any sort of accident, it’s a good idea to meet with a skilled Orange County car accident lawyer. They’ll review your file and let you know what your options are. All you have to do is call and schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our attorneys as soon as possible after your crash.

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