Defining Pain and Suffering in a Texas Personal Injury Claim

If you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, you will very likely be bringing personal injury claim with the at-fault party’s insurance company in the near future. In your claim, you will seek compensation for the damages you incurred, and these damages may include pain and suffering. Understanding how pain and suffering is defined in Texas courts can help.

Your Personal Injury Claim

Texas law allows injured victims to seek compensation for both economic and non-economic losses. Some of the most commonly sought losses in personal injury claims include:

  • Property damage

  • Medical expenses

  • Lost wages

  • Pain and suffering

Let’s take a closer look at pain and suffering.

Pain and Suffering

In Texas, the legal definition of pain and suffering encompasses all of the following:

  • The physical pain you endured as a result of your injuries

  • The mental anguish you endured

  • Your emotional suffering

  • More abstract suffering, such as PTSD-like symptoms, increased stress and anxiety, depression, and more

If the accident that caused you to be injured resulted in any and/or all of these effects, it should be addressed in your personal injury case.

Evaluating Your Pain

The court will not only take the pain you endured at the time of the injury into consideration but will also factor in any persistent or ongoing pain and suffering that you continue to experience. Further, the court will carefully examine the emotional toll the accident took on you and how that reverberates in your life. If a serious car accident, for example, leaves you unable to get back behind the wheel, it might be an important consideration.

Calculating Monetary Value

It is difficult to put a face value on pain and suffering, and this is why Texas courts often use a basic multiplier system. This works by assigning a multiplier of 1 to accidents that result in the least amount of pain and a multiplier of 5 to accidents that result in the maximum amount of pain. This court then takes the amount of money you were awarded in damages and multiplies it by your pain multiplier. Therefore, if you are awarded $20,000 in damages and your level of pain is determined to be at level 3, your damages for pain and suffering will be calculated at $60,000. It is important to recognize, however, that this is a general calculation method and that the court has discretion in the matter.

Catastrophic Injuries

Generally, those cases involving catastrophic injuries or wrongful death claims are awarded the most significant compensation for pain and suffering. With such injuries, the jury can easily recognize their magnitude and are typically comfortable compensating victims accordingly.

Consult with an Experienced Killeen Personal Injury Attorney Today

If you have a personal injury claim that involves pain and suffering, you need attorney Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, on your side. Mr. Pritchard has extensive experience successfully advocating for the compensation to which clients like you are entitled. Your case is important to us, so please do not hesitate to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 for more information today.

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