Pain and suffering. Those words are very common – and powerful – in personal injury cases. That’s because every person who is injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence is going to experience some level of pain and suffering – and they deserve to be compensated for it.
But what exactly qualifies as pain and suffering and how do you quantify it? How do you put a price on physical and emotional trauma? In this article, our North Texas personal injury attorneys explain pain and suffering in Texas, the types of medical conditions that may qualify, how to calculate it, and how our team can help maximize your financial recovery.
Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group is dedicated to fighting for the injured and the wronged – people whose lives have been upended through no fault of their own. If you or someone you love has suffered an injury or died due to someone else’s negligence in Fort Worth, Dallas, or the surrounding areas we encourage you to contact us today for a free consultation.
What is Pain and Suffering in Texas?
In Texas, pain and suffering is a legal term that refers to the physical and emotional distress that an individual experiences as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. It is a type of non-economic damage that cannot be easily quantified. Pain and suffering can stem from car wrecks, slip and falls, defective products, animal bites, the list goes on.
Most people understand the tangible aspect of personal injury cases. For example, if you broke your leg and arm in a wreck caused by a wrong-way driver, you would expect the driver’s insurance company to pay for your medical bills, damaged vehicle, and lost wages due to time off from work. But what about the excruciating pain you feel every time you have to move your body? Or the nightmares you have every night? Or the crippling fear of being in a car again?
That’s where pain and suffering come in.
Pain and suffering is a type of non-economic damage and can include physical pain, psychological trauma, loss of enjoyment of life, embarrassment, humiliation, or any other type of non-monetary damage.
What Types of Physical Medical Conditions Qualify as Pain and Suffering?
Physical pain is the most common type of pain and suffering that people experience in personal injury cases. This type of pain and suffering refers to any physical discomfort that you endure as a result of the accident. In some cases, the pain may be chronic, or even, permanent. Examples of medical conditions that may qualify for physical pain and suffering compensation include:
- Broken bones
- Spinal Injuries
- Neck Injuries
- Traumatic Brain Injuries
- Internal injuries
- Loss of limb or Amputation
- Nerve Damage
- Dislocated Joints
What Types of Emotional Conditions May Qualify as Pain and Suffering?
Emotional pain and suffering – also known as mental or emotional pain or anguish – refers to any emotional distress or trauma that an individual experiences as a result of a negligent accident. This type of pain and suffering can be just as debilitating as physical pain and suffering and can have a significant impact on your life. Some examples of emotional pain and suffering that may qualify for compensation include:
- Anxiety and Depression
- Fear and Worry
- Humiliation and Embarrassment
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- Sleep disturbances and insomnia
What is Loss of Consortium?
Loss of consortium is a type of pain and suffering that is unique to personal injury cases involving the wrongful death or debilitating injury of a spouse, parent or child. This type of pain and suffering refers to the loss of companionship, love, protection, and care that is typically associated with a close relationship that will never be the same again due to a catastrophic injury or death.
How Do You Calculate Pain and Suffering in Texas?
There is no absolute, definitive method for determining the value of pain and suffering in a personal injury case. However, there are two common methods that personal injury attorneys and insurance companies turn to for calculating pain and suffering: the multiplier method and the per diem method.
The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method involves multiplying the victim’s total amount of economic damage expenses, such as medical bills and lost wages, by a certain number, which is known as the multiplier. The multiplier is usually between 1.5 and 5 – with 1 being the least amount of pain and suffering and five being the maximum.
For example, if your total economic damages were $50,000 and the multiplier used was 3, the compensation for pain and suffering compensation would be $150,000 ($50,000 x 3).
Clearly, the multiplier method is not a scientific approach. It is very subjective. Having said that, it is a method that attorneys and insurance companies use to try and arrive at a settlement. If the case does go to trial, the jury will be able to choose whatever amount they see fit.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method involves assigning a daily value to the victim’s pain and suffering and multiplying that value by the number of days that you have suffered. The daily rate is often based on the severity of the injury, impact on life and livelihood, and length of recovery.
For example, if your daily pain and suffering value is $100 and you have suffered for 100 days, your pain and suffering compensation would be $10,000. Again, the per diem method is not scientific or exact. It’s subjective.
How Do Prove Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case in Texas?
Proving pain and suffering in a personal injury case can be challenging, as it is a subjective concept. However, there are several ways that you can demonstrate the extent of your pain and suffering, including:
- Photos and videos of your injury and how it’s impacting your life;
- Emergency and medical records;
- Testimony from medical experts and other witnesses;
- Testimony from family, friends and co-workers who have observed you since injury;
- Journal entries of your pain and suffering;
- Documentation of any medication or treatment that you have received or will need in the future.
The more evidence you have, the better your chances of successfully proving the extent of your pain and suffering. An experienced personal injury attorney can compile the evidence that is necessary to demonstrate your pain and suffering in a compelling manner to maximize your recovery.
For example, an experienced personal injury attorney will seek evidence that shows the severity of your injury; trauma at the scene; pain and terror at the hospital; possible fear of dying; and long-term physical and emotional effects.
How Much Does it Cost to Hire a Personal Injury Lawyer?
You have suffered enough. At Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group we will not add to your financial hardships. We offer a free consultation and you will never owe us anything upfront or out-of-pocket. We work on contingency, which means you do not pay unless we successfully obtain compensation for you.
Don’t Suffer in Silence. Contact Varghese Summersett Injury Law Group
Our attorneys have vast experience handling complex cases involving pain and suffering in Texas. We understand the intricacies involved in these cases, and we are prepared to fight for the compensation that you deserve – and not just in the short term but for your lifetime.
If we can achieve an acceptable settlement with aggressive negotiations with the responsible parties, then that is what we will do. If not, we are prepared to take your case to trial, fight on your behalf and ask a jury to do the right thing.
Your recovery is our priority. Contact us today at 817-207-4878 (HURT) to get started on your personal injury case.
If you’re involved in a pedestrian accident, your first priority should be your health and safety. Take the following steps:
- Seek medical attention: Get checked by a medical professional, even if your injuries seem minor. This will not only ensure your well-being but also create a medical record that can be used in your case.
- Gather evidence: If possible, take photos of the scene, your injuries, and any property damage. Collect contact information from the driver, witnesses, and responding police officers.
- Report the accident: Notify the police and file a report. Obtain a copy of the police report for your records. 4. Contact a personal injury attorney: Speak with an experienced attorney like those at Varghese Summersett to discuss your legal options and protect your rights.
In Texas, the responsibility for a pedestrian accident can fall on the driver, the pedestrian, or both parties, depending on the circumstances. Texas follows a “modified comparative negligence” rule, meaning that if both parties share fault for the accident, their respective percentages of fault will impact the amount of compensation they can recover.
Victims of pedestrian accidents in Texas may be eligible to recover various types of compensation, including:
- Medical expenses: This covers past and future medical costs related to the accident.
- Lost wages: Compensation for any income lost due to the accident, including future earning capacity.
- Pain and suffering: Compensation for physical pain, emotional distress, and mental anguish caused by the accident.
- Loss of consortium: Compensation for the loss of companionship and support suffered by a spouse or family member.
The amount of compensation you receive will depend on the specific facts of your case.
In Texas, the statute of limitations for personal injury claims, including pedestrian accidents, is typically two years from the date of the accident. You must file a lawsuit within this time frame to seek compensation for your injuries. Failing to do so may result in the loss of your right to pursue legal action.
Yes, under Texas’ “modified comparative negligence” rule, you can still recover damages if you were partially at fault for the pedestrian accident. However, your compensation will be reduced by your percentage of fault. For example, if you were awarded $100,000 in damages but found to be 30% at fault, your compensation would be reduced to $70,000. If you are found to be more than 50% at fault, you are barred from recovering any damages.