After a truck accident or car wreck, you might face expensive medical bills, lost wages, car repair bills and other monetary damages. These are usually fairly easy to understand and calculate. But other injuries, most notably pain and suffering, are not so easy to quantify.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
In Texas, “pain and suffering” is a broad term that covers an accident victim’s physical pain, mental anguish and emotional suffering. PTSD resulting from a car accident is one example of an injury that would fall into this category. Another example would be the loss of a leg in a wreck—you go through a great deal of physical pain, plus you suffer emotional trauma as well.
Pain and suffering is a form of non-economic damages. Think of non-economic damages as compensation for injuries that you can’t show a receipt for. If you need surgery, you get a bill for the surgery and you can receive compensation for that cost. The surgery cost is an economic damage.
No bill can adequately cover the pain and suffering you endure because of the surgery. Pain and suffering compensation covers non-economic damages, and it’s harder to put a monetary value on.
How Is Pain and Suffering Assessed?
Several variables come into play when evaluating the severity of someone’s pain and suffering. A judge or jury will consider the pain inflicted at the time of the accident, the pain you suffered afterward and how long the pain could last.
Factors typically considered in these cases include:
- Pain stemming from medical treatment
- Psychological, emotional and mental harm
- Chronic pain
- Loss of quality of life because of the injury
- Whether you have long-term pain or loss of function
- The extent to which your pain limits your ability to lead a normal, healthy life
Texas Uses the Multiplier Method
Assuming the court awards you damages for pain and suffering, the judge will use the multiplier system to assign a monetary value to those damages.
Basically, your pain and suffering is calculated by taking your economic damages and multiplying them by a number between one and five. The more severe your injuries, the higher your multiplier will be.
For example, let’s say you sustained a broken leg and have to take some time off work, but you’re otherwise fine. You might get a multiple of 1.5 or two. But if you lost a limb, were paralyzed or suffered other major injuries, your multiplier could be a five.
Let’s say the court determines that you sustained $20,000 in economic damages with a multiplier of three. In this case, you would receive $60,000 for your pain and suffering.
Injured in an Auto Accident? Our Texas Lawyers Can Help.
Ted B. Lyon & Associates, based in Dallas, is one of Texas’s leading personal injury law firms. You can get a free consultation with one of our attorneys by calling 866-503-4864 or simply send us a message to make arrangements.