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How Do You Quantify Emotional Distress Damages In California Personal Injury?

How To Calculate Emotional Distress In California Personal Injury Claims


No receipts or medical records could quantify exactly how much your emotional distress is worth. So, how do California personal injury attorneys determine the value of your emotional distress damages? How do you prove them with evidence?

Let's talk about non-economic damages and emotional distress in California's personal injury claims.



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What Do You Mean By Personal Injury In California?


Negligent parties who cause an accident are liable to compensate victims for injuries, damaged property, emotional distress, pain and suffering, and so on. The worse the injuries and emotional distress, the bigger the damages you'll be able to claim.


These damages will be calculated by your California personal injury attorney and declared in settlements or lawsuits.

How Is Emotional Distress Damages Calculated In California?

California personal injury attorneys will consider both economic and non-economic damages in your claim:

  • Economic damages include medical bills, doctor's fees, surgery expenses, lost income, property damage, and so on. These are proven through receipts, medical documents, and expert testimonies.

  • Non-Economic Damages include "intangible" damages like emotional distress.

  • Punitive Damages are awarded to egregious cases, often when the defendant had malicious intent or gross negligence. The jury decides how much you'll get should they grant you these damages.

The biggest challenge with non-economic damages is that no receipts show how much you've suffered emotionally. Hence, your California personal injury attorney needs to have solid arguments and be creative with showing evidence of your distress.


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How To Find Evidence For Emotional Distress In California?

Your physical suffering and financial constraints will likely cause some emotional distress. This is why more severe cases tend to have higher emotional distress damages.


Here are some ways to show the gravity of your emotional suffering:

  • Health Records. You can use health records to show that your doctor has restricted you from lifting weights, doing a favorite sport, or taking care of your family. Again, severe medical conditions can be closely tied to someone's emotional well-being.

  • Mental/Psychiatric Records. Have the mental health expert who has been treating you, such as a licensed counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist, put their assessment of your mental and emotional state in writing.

  • Testimonies. Request written confirmation from your family, friends, employer, and coworkers that detail how they have observed your emotional state in the wake of the injury or traumatic event. They may have observed you to be depressed, crying, or looking worn out.

  • Personal Journals. You can present evidence of emotional distress in court by providing specifics about the injury or incident, your daily pain levels, sleep issues, bad dreams, and other aspects of how the incident has affected your day-to-day activities.

Defendants will often deny or trivialize your emotional distress to reduce the damages they'll need to pay you. Hence, it is vital for you and your California personal injury attorney to show how much the accident affected you and how you're suffering is causing severe emotional distress.


What Types Of Non-Economic Damages Might A Plaintiff Win In A Negligence Suit In California?

The importance of non-economic damages for harmed parties cannot be overstated. Non-economic damages cover a victim's non-financial, non-personal losses following an accident. They are more challenging to define since they lack a distinct cash worth.


They are nonetheless just as crucial to an injury claim as economic losses. Hence, California personal injury attorneys will try to get an amount equivalent to the emotional suffering you've experienced.


Non-economic damages cover expenses incurred by affected parties, such as:

  • Pain and suffering

  • Inconvenience

  • Physical deformity

  • Emotional distress

  • Mental anguish

  • Loss of the enjoyment of life

  • Loss of consortium

  • Loss of community

Note that this is not a comprehensive list, and every situation is unique. These damages aim to compensate an accident victims for their suffering, anguish, and psychological trauma.


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Hire A Prescreened California Personal Injury Attorney Near Me

1000Attorneys.com is a California Bar Association Certified Lawyer Referral Service that will match you up with experienced California personal injury attorneys.

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