Texas Personal Injury Law: What Exactly Is “Pain and Suffering”?

If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s carelessness or negligence, you are allowed to seek general damages for pain and suffering. This is a broad term that deals with the monetary value of being in physical, mental, and/or emotional pain after your injury.  

Some jurisdictions do not allow you to recover damages for mental or emotional distress unless a physical injury was involved, but in Texas, you are allowed to do so if the act that caused your suffering was deliberate or the outcome of severe recklessness. State law even allows for increased damages for especially serious injuries, such as permanent deformity or disfigurement. The most important thing one can and should do is to consult with an experienced Texas personal injury attorney. Here at The Sharp Firm, we can help guide you through the legal complexities of bringing a lawsuit for pain and suffering.

Calculating Pain and Suffering

Calculating economic damages such as medical bills and lost wages is comparatively easy, but how exactly is pain and suffering calculated for compensation purposes? In Texas, there is no standard formula for determining such damages, so judges and juries have a certain amount of discretion when assigning dollar amounts.

When determining a pain and suffering award, the judge or jury will consider factors such as:

  • The nature and extent of your injuries
  • The duration of the pain and suffering
  • Your age
  • Your pre-existing health conditions
  • Whether or not any psychiatric or psychological therapy or rehabilitation is needed

Pain and suffering considerations also take into account the ways that your injury has changed your life. For example, if permanent back pain prevents you from caring for your children or won’t allow you to function normally without a great deal of pain, you may claim compensation for the damage done to your family relationships. An amateur athlete who can no longer play his or her dedicated sport can also demand damages for the loss. Your best course of action is to consult with us.

In the absence of precise calculation guidelines, Texas attorneys may suggest different methods to calculate damage awards. They include:

  • Multiplier Method: An actuary takes your economic damages and multiplies them by a certain amount. The multiplier used will depend on factors such as the severity of your injuries, the presence of aggravating circumstances in the accident, and whether or not you will ever be able to recover.
  • Per Diem Method: This method calls a certain dollar amount for every day that you are in pain. This approach is fine for clear-cut cases, but very few are. It also falls short when it comes to permanently disabling conditions, long-term injuries, and lost earning ability.

Post-accident pain can potentially change your life, and you deserve to be compensated for associated losses. If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence or malicious conduct, contact the Sharp Firm today. We have years of experience in both negotiating settlements and seeking awards for those who experience pain and suffering from their injuries. Initial consultations are free, and if you decide to retain our firm, we will aggressively fight for the compensation you are both entitled to and need for your future well-being.

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