Brasure Law Firm, PLLC

By: Chris Brasure

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated in Texas?

Personal Injury

If you’ve been injured in an accident or, worse, lost or endured the loss of a loved one, much of your pain is not financial. You, of course, may incur high medical costs for treatment, recovery, and lost wages, but these “dollar” losses can be easily measured. Your thorough and experienced Edinburg personal injury law team will know precisely how your financial loss can be evaluated currently and, usually, for your future needs. These “pecuniary” losses generally produce a bill, which can be used to calculate what compensation you may be due.

So, all your medical bills and lost wages are economic damages, which are relatively easy to calculate; it is much more challenging to put a value on non-economic damage such as pain and suffering.

In Texas,  the “basic multiplier method” is commonly used  to determine the value of “non-pecuniary” damages such as “pain & suffering.” Usually, the opposing insurance company will add up all your apparent economic damages, such as medical bills, recovery costs, lost wages, etc., and multiply the sum on a scale between 1.5 and five.

The lower end of the scale may consist of minor injuries that don’t require extensive medical treatment, while five may be used for life-threatening harm that can take a severe and long-term toll on your life and your family’s future.

Let’s say you broke your arm and must take time off work to recuperate. Here, the insurer may assign you a 1.5. Accordingly, if you broke your arm and a leg and had to go to a rehab facility for months of physical and occupational therapy, you’d probably be  assigned a four or a five for a multiplier.

However, you must note that if you were involved in a car accident, slip and fall, premises liability, defective product claim, or more, there may be no limits on the compensation you receive for pain and suffering. There are specific types of personal injury cases in Texas that do have dollar limits imposed, such as medical malpractice. However, many times, the diligence, aggressiveness, and skill of your Hidalgo County personal injury law team will help to determine the amount of compensation you will receive and rightfully deserve. 

How Do the Texas Courts Further Evaluate “Pain & Suffering?”

Your personal injury lawyer will explain that numerous facts will be examined to evaluate the extent of your “pain and suffering.” Admittedly, this process may be legally challenging, and many times it’s difficult to put a dollar value on this often-subjective figure. However, you can expect a judge or jury to peer deeply into how much pain occurred at the time of the accident and how much you and your family may continue suffering due to your injuries.

Specific items that they may consider in your case are:

  • Extensive pain from your medical treatment.
  • Any emotional or mental trauma.
  • Possibly chronic pain you may have to endure.
  • The effects on your present and future “quality of life.”
  • If your pain prevents you from performing specific tasks.
  • Any discomfort you may face in particular situations, and more.

You must remember that medical bills, physical therapy, etc. are costs that can be added up and tallied. However, this is not the case with non-pecuniary losses such as pain and suffering. Here, the skill, empathy, and expertise of an Edinburg or McAllen personal injury lawyer will be invaluable.

Can I Be Awarded Damages for “Emotional Distress” in Texas?

“Emotional distress is a type of damage usually under the umbrella of pain and suffering. It is non-economic but can still cause you great harm. It is an “intangible” loss (such as pain & suffering) and is measured differently by the jury or the judge on your case.

There are myriad non-economic damages that your accident may inflict on you. Some examples are emotional distress, pain and suffering, mental anguish, psychological trauma (such as PTSD), inconvenience, humiliation, loss of quality of life, loss of consortium, grief, and more.

Throughout Texas, as an accident victim, you may qualify for compensation for economic and non-economic damages, depending on the circumstances of your case. However, the “burden of proof” for your pain & suffering or emotional distress must be proven by the facts inherent in your case and by your personal injury law team.

Your personal injury lawyer must prove that the “negligent” party (or the defendant) is responsible for your accident and the emotional damage it has caused you and possibly your family.

It always holds that proving a personal injury case requires clear and convincing evidence. Still, if you are claiming damages for pain & suffering, emotional distress, etc. The task becomes even more legally challenging.  What you are claiming, including any losses such as pain & suffering, is more likely to be true than not. Still, it becomes mandatory that you work with a local, aggressive, detail-oriented, and experienced Hidalgo County personal injury law team. They will know how to manage, present, and best obtain the total compensation you are entitled to.

What May My Lawyer Use to Prove Emotional Distress and Pain & Suffering?

“Pain & Suffering”, emotional distress, and other non-economic damages are always challenging to prove. So, you must do your part to build your case. You can communicate with your doctor about any emotional symptoms you’re experiencing. Always consult a psychologist (or psychiatrist) for your mental trauma, and keep a detailed journal of how your injury has affected you psychologically.

Each case is unique, but some common evidence used to prove pain and suffering are:

  • Your medical and psychiatric therapy records.
  • Your official medical diagnosis, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
  • Medications you’ve been prescribed for your mental health symptoms.
  • Statements from your friends and family members.
  • Expert testimony from doctors, psychiatrists, or psychologists.
  • Your detailed and personal journal.

I Feel I Have Endured Pain & Suffering Due To My Accident; How Should I Proceed?

Suppose you’ve received any form of mental pain & suffering due to your accident, and your lawyer successfully proved it. In that case, you could receive an insurance settlement or judgment award for this loss and others related to your accident.

Commonly, compensation due to a “pain and suffering” award will significantly increase the compensation you and your family need and deserve.

 Of course, the final amount you receive will depend on the severity of your injuries and the skill with which your Edinberg or McAllen personal injury lawyer drafts and presents your case. Don’t hesitate and obtain the professional guidance you need to ensure your and your family’s future.

By Brasure Law Firm, PLLC