M.D: Pain and suffering usually apply to intangible damages that you suffered during an accident. Here are the facts you should know about these damages.
After a traffic accident or any other personal injury situation, the victims usually face hefty medical expenses, lost wages in case they cannot go back to work immediately, and sometimes endure pain and suffering. Lost wages and medical expenses are economic damages that are easy to calculate. But it is challenging to put a monetary value on pain and suffering.
The good news is that with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer, you can successfully calculate the value attached to pain and suffering and get fair compensation.
What damages fall under pain and suffering?
The first step in calculating damages linked to pain and suffering is to recognize the specific types of experiences and losses that count as pain and suffering in Texas. Nearly any type of emotional, psychological, mental, and physical harm from an accident qualifies as pain and suffering. Other damages that fall in this category include:
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disability.
- Chronic pain, general discomfort, and physical pain and suffering.
- Anxiety or depression.
- Loss of consortium or important services.
- Psychological trauma, like post-traumatic stress disorder, commonly known as PTSD.
- Partial or permanent loss of an essential body function.
- Embarrassment or humiliation.
- Grief, mental anguish, and emotional stress.
- Lost enjoyment of life or diminished quality of life.
In most cases, plaintiffs who suffered catastrophic injuries or are filing wrongful death claims are more likely to get a higher amount of pain and suffering compensation. Court judges usually place a greater value on lawsuits where the victim can successfully prove extreme pain, major impact on their daily life, permanent disabilities, and loss of a close relative.
In Texas, it is possible to file a claim solely for pain and suffering. But it’s recommended to combine these damages and economic losses when filing a personal injury claim. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you gather sufficient information regarding your case and file a lawsuit.
Calculation of pain and suffering damage
A jury can calculate your pain and suffering compensation amount in two different ways or sometimes with no method at all. It’s entirely up to the granting party to determine the amount the plaintiff should get for pain and suffering. Throughout history, Texas judges can use two main methods to determine a reasonable and fair amount of compensation for pain and suffering:
1. The multiplier method
To determine how much you should get as compensation for pain and suffering, the court may take the total amount of relevant economic damages and multiply it by a certain number between 1.5 and 5. This number represents the severity of your injuries.
For instance, if you have $15,000 in economic damages and the jury decides to use a multiplier of 2 for moderate injuries, you are likely to receive $45,000 ($15,000 for economic damages and $15,000 X 2 for pain and suffering).
2. The per diem method
This method helps determine the dollar amount that the victim should receive every day while they heal from the injuries they sustained. This amount matches what the victim usually gets daily through their working wages. If the court uses the per diem method to calculate your compensation for pain and suffering, you’ll receive a certain amount per day until you achieve maximum medical improvement.
Assuming that the judge assigned a per diem amount of $110 per day and you take a hundred days to recover, you will get $11,000.
Be sure to consult with an experienced Houston personal injury attorney who can fight for your interests and ensure you get the amount of compensation you deserve.