Pain and suffering damages differ from your other economic damages. You and your lawyer can sit down and calculate the value of your medical bills, lost wages, and other injury-related expenses based on your receipts, invoices, pay stubs, and tax returns. This is a relatively straightforward calculation. Pain and suffering, however, are intangible. Because others cannot see how much pain you are in or know how much anxiety, fear, and depression you have experienced, you have to use another method for calculating the value of these damages.
To talk with an experienced personal injury attorney about what constitutes pain and suffering in Texas and how to determine the value of your pain and suffering during a legal claim, contact The Krist Law Firm, P.C. at (281) 283-8500 or through our online form. We offer free consultations and accept cases on a contingency fee basis. We do not charge any attorney fees until we win you compensation.
What Constitutes Pain and Suffering in Texas?
Pain and suffering in Texas encompass many physical, psychological, and emotional experiences. Your pain and suffering damages can include your physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, trauma, grief, stress, mental health conditions, and much more.
Your non-economic damages, more broadly, encompass not just pain and suffering, but also compensation for any disfigurement or disability, loss of enjoyment of life, reduced quality of life, and loss of consortium. You should talk with an experienced personal injury lawyer about compensation for your pain and suffering and other non-economic damages.
How Pain and Suffering Are Calculated in Texas
To pursue compensation for pain and suffering in Texas, you must have suffered a physical injury. You must be able to connect your physical and psychological pain and discomfort to an actual injury, such as a broken bone, sprain and strains, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, or burns.
There is not one specific method you must use to calculate the value of your pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. There are several methods you can use. The most common is using a multiplier as a guideline for how much compensation to demand during an insurance claim or lawsuit.
Once your economic damages, also known as tangible or general damages, are calculated, they will be multiplied by a number, usually between one and five. This multiplier is meant to signify the severity of your physical injuries. The more severe your injuries and their impact on your life, the higher the multiplier.
Factors that may be considered in determining an appropriate multiplier include, but are not limited to:
- Necessary medical treatment for pain;
- The likelihood of long-term or chronic pain;
- A prolonged recovery;
- Permanent scarring or disfigurements;
- The emotional or mental trauma associated with your injuries, including counseling or any diagnosis of a mental health disorder;
- How your injuries have impacted your quality of life;
- How your injuries have impacted your ability to take care of yourself on a daily basis;
- How your injuries have impacted your spousal or romantic relationship;
- Your fear, discomfort, or anxiety in certain situations due to the accident and your injuries; and
- The at-fault party’s recklessness or maliciousness.
For example, after a serious truck accident, your economic damages may total $150,000. Because you suffered broken bones, various soft tissue injuries, and a concussion, and you have a significant fear of driving or riding in a vehicle now, your lawyer may pursue a multiplier of three. You may choose to pursue non-economic/intangible damages of $450,000, for a total of $600,0000 in damages.
A multiplier is not a hard-and-fast rule. Using a multiplier is a guideline for how much non-economic compensation to pursue. An attorney from The Krist Law Firm, P.C. can advise you on using the multiplier method during an insurance claim or lawsuits.
Damage Caps in Texas
In Texas, a cap on non-economic or other damages may impact your case. You should talk to an attorney about whether a damage cap applies to your situation.
During a medical malpractice suit, your non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 against doctors and $250,000 against a healthcare provider, such as a hospital or medical group. You can only obtain up to $500,000 for all medical providers involved in your case, for a total possible $750,000 in non-economic damages in medical malpractice suits.
If you bring a case against a government entity, your total damages are limited to $250,000 per person and $500,000 per event.
Contact a Houston Injury Lawyer Today
If you were seriously injured in an accident, and you believe someone else was at fault, do not hesitate to call (281) 283-8500 and schedule a consultation with an experienced injury attorney from The Krist Law Firm, P.C. Our attorneys have years of experience handling all types of injury claims, including those arising from car accidents, truck accidents, construction, accidents, and maritime accidents.