Minority patients may experience and express traumatically caused pain differently

As a Sacramento personal injury lawyer, I have had occasion to represent many minority members in auto and trucking accidents since 1982.  Over the years, I’ve noticed that, in general, different people and different cultures experience pain differently. I recently came across an article entitled Hispanic Inpatient Pain intensity.

The gist of that article summarized is that non English speaking Hispanic  patients in hospitals tend to underreport pain by some 30 percent compared to  English speaking Hispanic patients.

May times, in personal injury lawsuits, the insurance companies focus on complaints of pain showing up in the medical records. They imply that if there was no pain indicated in the medical records, the patient must not have been in pain. Its important to the serious personal injury lawyer to be familiar with the medical literature to explain why those complaints may not have been voiced. And that not being voiced, is not the same as not being experienced.

Another recent study entitled, Pain and Psychological symptom differences in African Americans and European Americans experiencing motor vehicle collisions,  showed that African americans suffered greater neck  pain and incidences of PTSD  than European Americans months after an auto accident.  Whether the increased physical and psychological pain after motor vehicle accidents  is due to greater life stress, challenges associated with discrimination or perceived racism or is due to a lower socioeconomic status is currently unknown.


Yet another medical journal article recently read entitled A Longitudinal examination of neighborhood socioeconomic status and cancer pain  showed that  neighborhoods characterized  by poverty, lack of education and lack of employment, increased  risk for more cancer pain and pain interference.

The important point to note is that pain can vary by ethnic group or by culture whether that pain is organic in nature or via trauma.


It’s important that personal injury attorneys handling trauma understand and can explain via their expert medical doctors, that people are unique. That just as every person grieves differently, every person experiences pain differently.


Client Reviews

  • Me and my wife; had a car accident. We were amazed how easy, professional, friendly attorney Ed Smith is along with his staff. Everybody is amazing. Thank you so much, we are very impressed!
  • Ed Smith and his office team took on a difficult personal injury case on my behalf and for the passenger in my car. Ed is a top- notch attorney. His staff couldn't have been more helpful and kind. No need to look elsewhere. I give Ed Smith my highest recommendation.
  • Ed and Robert have been taking great care of my husband and I for the past 5+ years. They are always there when you have a problem and a quick resolution! Even when the issues have nothing to do with them. They are willing to help ease the pain off your shoulders. They are as good as it gets! Thank you again for everything.
  • Very professional. Great team, staff and service all around. Mr Smith was very honest, straight forward with his advice. He gives the word "attorney" an honest reputation. I will seek his council anytime, and would recommend him at the drop of a dime.
  • I would highly recommend Ed Smith to any friends or family in need of a personal injury attorney. Ed, and his staff, are very caring on top of being very experienced in this field. The staff always keeps you informed of the status of your case and they are always easy to reach by phone.
  • Edward Smith law offices provide competent, thorough, and personable help for victims of personal injury. When you first meet the staff you know you contacted the right office. This law office treats clients like people. I recommend this office to anyone seeking representation regarding personal injury.