Your Guide to Calculating Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident Claim

Man grabbing neck in pain

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If you have been injured by another driver’s negligence, your medical expenses and lost earnings are not difficult to calculate, but putting a price tag on your psychic pain and suffering can be far more challenging. Fortunately, there are some basic guidelines that can help.

What Constitutes Pain and Suffering?

Before you can calculate the extent of your pain and suffering, you need to have a firm grasp on the kinds of consequences that qualify as pain and suffering in your car accident claim. Consider the following:

  • The physical pain and suffering you endure, which can include the kind of chronic pain that is common to broken bones and spinal cord injuries

  • The emotional trauma associated with catastrophic injuries, such as losing a limb or an important bodily function

  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other psychological effects

  • The psychological pain associated with being permanently disfigured (by a serious burn on or near the face, for example) or permanently disabled (by limb loss or a traumatic brain injury, for example)

  • Emotional consequences, such as severe mood swings, increased anxiety that can lead to anxiety attacks, emotional lability, sleep disturbances that can include nightmares or night terrors, loss of interest in former passions, feelings of hopelessness, self-isolation, and more

  • Loss of consortium (loss of a special spousal or parent/child relationship)

Unfortunately, this list could go on and on.

The Calculation Process

After addressing the pain and suffering you have been forced to endure as a result of another motorist’s negligence, it’s time to calculate the associated damages. While there is no specific calculation tool that Texas courts and juries are required to use, they often employ the multiplier method for cases involving serious injuries.

In this method, the total amount of your financial losses (your medical costs and your lost earnings) is multiplied by a number between 1.5 and 5. The more challenging your injuries, the higher the number will be. For example, if you’ve endured life-altering injuries, the number used will be 5, but if your injuries are more manageable and are likely to fully heal within a reasonable amount of time, the number used might be 1.5.

For example, if you suffer a catastrophic injury in which you lose a leg and your monetary damages are calculated at $1 million, you will multiply this number by 5 to come up with the value of your pain and suffering ($5 million). While this is a simplistic example, it helps illustrate the calculation process of the multiplier method.

Do Not Put off Consulting with an Experienced Car Accident Attorney

If you have been injured by another driver’s negligence, Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is a focused car accident attorney who takes immense pride in helping clients like you fully recover on their losses. To learn more about how we can help, please do not wait to contact or call us at 254-501-4040 today.


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