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What are Pain and Suffering Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

how much are pain and suffering worth

When involved in a car accident, you may end up with serious injuries. Some severe injuries can cause extensive and costly medical bills. You may have to take time off work during the recovery process. When an accident is due to the negligence of another party, you may be eligible to collect damages in a personal injury case. Compensatory damages consist of both special and general damages. Special damages are economic, and they have a specific dollar value. For instance, medical bills represent actual amounts charged for services rendered.

What is Included in Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages are those that do not have an actual dollar value. Non-economic damages are also called intangible losses or general damages. These are damages you suffered because of the injury but do not have an actual price tag. Pain and suffering are some of the most common general or non-economic damages in personal injury cases. Pain and suffering are part of human damages in Texas which include a variety of things such as:

Physical impairment and pain

● Disfigurement

● Mental anguish

● Loss of consortium

● Loss of services

● Future pain and suffering

These are damages you sustained due to the injury but are not necessarily quantifiable. Often, accident victims have mental trauma after a severe crash. You may require ongoing therapy and counseling and medication to minimize the aftermath of a Houston car accident incident.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages are not always easy to quantify. You cannot just look at an invoice and know the dollar amount owed. In Texas, the law requires that you provide proof of pain and suffering that is usually provided by testimony and medical records. Once you prove that you sustained pain and suffering, the law provides a calculation based on the severity of your injury.

There is no magic formula when calculating non-economic damages in Texas.  Insurance companies use complex formulas to value settlement offers. Relatively minor injuries may have an assigned multiplier of one, while the most severe injuries might a multiplier of 5. The multiplier is applied to the special or economic damages to obtain the value the insurance company places on pain and suffering damages in your case. For instance, a traumatic brain injury may be considered a catastrophic injury and might be assigned the highest multiplier.

Insurance Company Settlement Formulas do not Work on Severe Cases

However, the formula used by insurance companies may not accurately value the noneconomic damages in severe injury cases. Often the medical billing is limited in some very serious injuries because treatment is limited or for other reasons. Consulting with the best personal injury attorney in your area should be a priority.

It is essential to document your pain and suffering following your injury. You can do this in several ways. One of the best ways is to be open with your treating physicians. Medical records are powerful proof. Also, consider keeping a journal of your daily experiences after your accident. Be honest, and keep track of your feelings and medical issues. This is part of the proof that may help to prove the extent you suffered after the accident.

Call Us for a Free Consultation

An experienced Houston accident attorney will help gather the evidence you need to prove that you are owed both economic and non-economic damages. The law limits the time you have to file a personal injury claim to two years from the injury. The sooner you file a claim, the better your chances are of recovering the damages you seek. If you were hurt in an accident, do not delay. Contact our skilled legal team at Baumgartner Law Firm for a free initial consultation today.


Greg Baumgartner

attorney greg baumgartner

Greg Baumgartner has practiced personal injury law since 1984. He holds not one but two law degrees and is a graduate of Trial Lawyers College. He is licensed in Texas and Colorado. Mr. Baumgartner has earned a reputation for exemplary results for his clients. And has been preeminent rated for decades and recognized by Top 100 Trial Lawyers, Super Lawyers, Expertise, Newsweek, Houstonia magazine, and many others. He has given educational talks to lawyers and many media interviews regarding personal injury cases.