Individuals who successfully bring a personal injury lawsuit in Texas are entitled to various monetary damages.
One of the most important types of damages in these cases involves compensation for a victim’s pain and suffering. In fact, pain and suffering damages in Texas personal injury cases can make up a significant portion of a victim’s total recovery. Thus, it is important to understand how to calculate pain and suffering.
At the law firm of Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C, we have decades of experience handling high-stakes and complex personal injury cases, and we know what it takes to identify the full extent of our client’s damages. That way, we can ensure that our clients receive everything they are entitled to.
What Does it Mean to Sue for Pain and Suffering?
The first step toward calculating pain and suffering damages in Texas is to understand what these damages cover. Courts award pain and suffering damages to compensate accident victims for the non-economic impact that the accident had on their lives.
This includes things such as:
- Mental anguish,
- Disability and disfigurement,
- Loss of consortium between spouses, and
- Loss of services between family members.
Necessarily, pain and suffering damages are subjective because an accident can impact people’s lives in very different ways. In most cases, proving pain and suffering damages requires establishing the victim’s physical injuries and following that up with a compelling story about how the accident impacted the victim’s life.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
There are a few ways that Texas courts calculate pain and suffering damages. As a general rule, courts are encouraged to use a pain and suffering multiplier. This is perhaps the easiest way to come up with a figure for pain and suffering because it involves using a multiplier, usually between one and five.
The multiplier depends on the severity of the victim’s injuries. For example, a serious brain injury that forever limits a victim’s cognitive function may warrant the use of a multiplier of 5. But a fractured wrist that heals in a few months may only warrant a multiplier of 1.
Once the court determines the applicable multiplier, it takes the number and multiplies it by the amount of economic damages (i.e., direct financial losses). For example, assume you suffered three broken ribs in a car accident. Your medical bills and lost wages came to $75,000.
If the court assigned a multiplier of three, you would recover $225,000 in pain and suffering damages, plus the $75,000 in economic damages, for a total of $300,000. This formula is essentially a pain and suffering calculator for Texas personal injury cases, and your lawyer will use it and their knowledge of the field to estimate the total recovery amount.
Of course, the multiplier method doesn’t work very well in cases where the injury didn’t result in significant medical expenses or lost wages but still had a major impact on the victim’s life.
The other way to calculate pain and suffering is the per diem method. Under this method, the court comes up with a daily dollar amount and multiplies that figure by the number of days the victim spends recovering from their injuries.
For example, if a jury determined that a victim should be compensated $150 per day and that they were in recovery for two years, the total pain and suffering damages would be $109,500. Again, this figure gets added to any economic damages, such as medical bills and lost wages.
Any award for pain and suffering should also take into account future pain and suffering. For example, if an accident victim needs additional surgeries or is expected to suffer a lifetime of pain, this must be included in the calculation.
Of course, this can complicate calculating pain and suffering damages, which is one reason why most accident victims choose to work with an experienced personal injury lawyer.
Have You Suffered Serious Injuries Because of Another’s Negligence?
If you or a loved one was recently involved in an accident and are wondering what your rights are for pursuing a claim for pain and suffering damages, reach out to the dedicated lawyers at Fadduol, Cluff, Hardy & Conaway, P.C., for immediate assistance.
Our skilled Texas personal injury lawyers have been aggressively representing accident victims and their families since 1984, and we know what it takes to secure the compensation our clients need and deserve.
To learn more and to schedule your free consultation today, call (800) 433-2408. You can also reach us through our online contact form. Calling is free, and because we accept personal injury cases on a contingency basis, we will not bill you for our services unless we recover compensation on your behalf.