Anderson Injury Lawyers | August 18, 2022 | Personal Injury
If you want to know how much your case is worth, it’s important to know all of the figures that go into this calculation.
Texas law allows accident victims to recover economic damages following a car accident, bike accident, or slip and fall. Economic damages are easier to quantify after an accident because there’s usually a bill or invoice to prove how much they cost, like a medical bill or car repair estimate.
However, Texas law also allows you to pursue compensation for non-economic damages that are more difficult to quantify. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help explain how these damages are calculated and what you can expect for your personal injury claim.
Non-Economic Damages in Texas Personal Injury Cases
Non-economic damages are defined under Texas law as damages awarded to compensate a victim for the following:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental or emotional pain or anguish
- Physical impairment
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of companionship and society
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Injury to reputation
- Any other non-financial losses other than punitive damages
You may have sustained one or more of these non-economic damages, depending on your accident or injury.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
The term pain and suffering refers to the physical pain and suffering someone endures after an accident, as well as the emotional and mental anguish stemming from the accident and injuries.
For example, suppose Jill was hurt in a car accident and broke her leg. She suffers from physical pain. She also cannot continue her regular habit of taking a jog in the morning or playing basketball with friends. She is also afraid to get in a vehicle and has suffered anxiety since the accident. The law would allow Jill to pursue compensation for the totality of her physical, mental, and emotional damages.
How to Prove Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages are difficult to quantify, so it’s important to try to establish them through documentation and testimony, such as:
- Medical records and imaging tests that show you suffered physical injuries that would likely cause pain and suffering
- Testimony from a medical expert about the pain and suffering a victim involved in the same type of accident would likely suffer
- Pictures of your injury
- Professional notes from a therapist or counselor
- Pain journal entries in which you detail your pain, suffering, and side effects from your injuries and treatment
- Statements from family members, neighbors, and coworkers about how the accident has affected you
An attorney can help you gather the evidence needed to prove the full extent of your pain and suffering.
Ways to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages
There are several different ways for claimants, insurance companies, and juries to calculate pain and suffering damages, including:
Pain and Suffering Calculators
Some websites feature pain and suffering calculators in which accident victims input estimates for certain costs.
Such calculators are inaccurate because they do not consider factors that can affect the value of your claim, such as your own degree of fault, insurance policy limits, and how many parties contributed to your injuries. No two accidents are the same, so how much pain and suffering is worth in one case may not mirror what it’s worth in another case.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can give you a better idea regarding what to expect in damages than an online calculator can.
Some insurance companies use computer software to estimate the value of a claim based on average amounts. However, your personal injury attorney can argue why your claim should be worth more.
The multiplier method assigns a value – typically between 1.5 and 5, depending on the facts of the case – and multiplies that number by your awarded economic damages.
Per Diem Method
Sometimes a jury or insurance adjuster will multiply the number of days you suffered from the accident by a certain dollar amount to estimate the value of your pain and suffering damages.
Juries are often instructed to consider how they would value their own pain and suffering and use this as a guide in awarding pain and suffering damages to an accident victim.
An Attorney Can Help You Calculate Your Pain and Suffering Damages
A lawyer can help evaluate your pain and suffering damages and fight for the compensation you deserve.