Personal Injuries

A Guide to Bringing a Lawsuit for Pain and Suffering

Close up of a person's arm holding a walking stick.

Injury treatment can cost tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars, and it could hinder your ability to earn money through work. The costs of an injury, though, can go beyond money.

Injury victims and their families may experience severe emotional distress as a result of their injuries. The state of California’s lawmakers allow personal injury claimants to seek compensation for the quality of life repercussions of their injuries because the psychological effects of injuries can be so severe.

Suppose someone else’s carelessness or negligence caused an accident that injured you. In that case, you could then make a claim for compensation to pay both the costs of your injury and its actual but immeasurable effects. 

How much compensation you should seek can be decided by and pursued on your behalf by an expert personal injury attorney. Read on to discover more about how the law can assist you in obtaining the compensation you are due.

Elements That Make Up Suffering and Pain

The Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School defines pain and suffering as the physical discomfort and emotional misery that people frequently experience as a result of an accident.

These psychological effects, which are mostly the early, excruciating pain of the injury or its treatment, may only endure momentarily. 

However, other injuries, such as those to the brain or spinal cord, can leave victims with lifelong anguish and suffering as they learn to live with drastically altered capacity for earning a living and maintaining independence.

Through the personal injury claims process, injured people can be compensated for a variety of pain and suffering in the form of non-economic damages. These damages are not out-of-pocket costs and are not solely based on the price of the goods and services required to treat the condition. 

Instead, you apply a formula to determine how much non-economic damage you can receive for the effects of your injuries.

Types of Accidents That Cause Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering can be brought on by almost any kind of accident that leaves victims hurt, including the following:

  • Accidents Involving Vehicles

Cars, large trucks, buses, taxis, ride-sharing services, railroads, bicycles, scooters, pedestrians, airplanes, and boats are included in this list.

  • Medical Malpractice

Medical malpractice is defined as carelessness committed by a healthcare professional, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, pharmacist, or chiropractor, in a medical context.

  • Premises Liability Accidents

These are accidents where someone was hurt because of a dangerous property feature on a private, public, or commercial property that the owner of the property knew about or had reason to know about but did not take any action to eliminate or warn others of through a clearly visible warning sign. 

The most frequent type of premises liability suit is a slip and fall incident. Premises liability, however, also covers other kinds of mishaps, such as dog attacks, escalator or elevator accidents, swimming pool mishaps, and careless security.

  • Product Liability Accidents

These involve accidents brought on by a faulty product. Foods and drugs are among the most popular products that give rise to a product liability claim. 

Appliances, toys for children, clothing for children, lawnmowers, and other elements of equipment are other common products with faults that cause harm to consumers.

  • Nursing Home Neglect or Abuse

In the state, nursing homes with and without licenses are home to hundreds of thousands of people. Most of them are senior citizens who are vulnerable to abuse because of dementia or other mental or physical health conditions. 

Neglect is failing to provide for a nursing home resident’s basic needs. It frequently happens due to staffing shortages at these facilities, which can leave insufficient workers to supervise residents and attend to their requirements adequately.

  • Wrongful Death

According to California law, a death brought on by someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing is a wrongful death. 

The deceased’s family members can seek compensation for non-economic damages, such as the loss of the decedent’s affection, companionship, care, protection, and support. 

They can seek compensation when they lose a loved one in a California accident brought on by someone else’s irresponsible or reckless behavior.

Unfortunately, accidents aren’t the only reason for injuries brought on by another person’s conduct. 

California’s personal injury claims procedure also enables victims of deliberate harm, such as sexual assault or abuse, to seek redress and damages. These people may also seek pain and suffering reimbursement.

Different Forms of Damages for Pain and Suffering You Can Sue

Many detrimental effects of injuries are included in pain and suffering damages, such as the following:

1. Distress and Suffering

The widespread moniker for non-economic damages suggests that physical pain and suffering are among the most noticeable effects. 

This can include the discomfort brought on by the injury, any particularly unpleasant medical procedures needed to aid in your rehabilitation, and any negative effects brought on by injury complications.

A high likelihood of complications is produced by some injuries, such as spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. These complications can occasionally be even more severe and life-threatening than the primary injury.

2. Emotional Anxiety

It refers to the psychological trauma that the victim experiences as a result of the injury and causes feelings of fear, worry, loss of sleep, despair, and shame. Emotional discomfort is a prevalent sort of non-economic expense.

3. Loss Of Consortium

Loss of consortium damage results from the repeated loss of physical intimacy and companionship experienced following a serious injury. This is asserted on behalf of the wounded person’s spouse or domestic partner.

4. Loss of Life’s Enjoyment

Injured persons frequently seek this form of harm if their infirmities prevent them from engaging in the hobbies and activities that they loved before the accident. Assume that you once enjoyed hiking and are now unable to do so due to your ailments. 

In that case, you have the right to compensation for being deprived of the opportunity to pursue a passion that would have improved the quality and enjoyment of your life.

Damages for Wrongful Death, Pain, and Suffering

Families of those who have passed away because of someone else’s negligence, recklessness, or even malicious act may pursue pain and suffering damages, including the loss of love, care, protection, direction, nurturing, and support. 

Showing Evidence of Pain and Suffering

Medical documents or bills that detail the extent of the medical care you need to receive to heal your injuries can be used as proof of your pain and suffering.

Videos comparing your level of activity before the accident to your level after the accident are required, as well as photographs of the property damage or bodily injuries that indicate the severity of the injury.

You will require copies of any medical or mental health counselors’ notes, the testimony of family, friends, and coworkers, and the testimony of experts who can describe the kinds of impacts that typically result in injuries similar to yours.

You will also need documentation of the lost time from work, such as time cards or a physician’s directive that the patient should not work.


You can still sue for pain and suffering damages even without an injury. Plaintiffs may seek non-economic damages if they can demonstrate that they endured emotional distress as a result of an accident in which they did not sustain serious injuries.

These claims typically rely on the testimony of a mental health professional who can attest that the claimant experiences emotional distress symptoms, including insomnia, anxiety, or symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder.

If you’re seeking a trusted personal injury lawyer in Los Angeles, Mendez & Sanchez Law is ready to step up and handle your case. 

While we pursue the just recompense for you, our team is available to guide you through the complex legal system. Contact us today for your personal injury, auto accident, workers’ compensation, or other legal needs.


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