Negligence, reckless behavior, and intentional torts can lead to an accident or injury. Unfortunately, innocent victims may be the ones to suffer the most for another party’s wrongful conduct.
Texas personal injury laws allow victims to sue at-fault parties for the damages they cause. Damages can include financial losses (economic damages), such as lost wages, property damages, medical bills, and out-of-pocket expenses.
However, victims can also receive compensation for their non-economic damages. This category of damages represents the pain and suffering the victim experiences because of an accident, their injuries, and the recovery. It also includes compensation for impairments, disabling conditions, and disfigurement caused by the injuries.
Calculating How Much Your Pain and Suffering Damages Are Worth
Calculating the value of pain and suffering damages can be complicated. No two cases are alike, and people do not suffer similarly. The same injury could cause one person significant pain and suffering while another person might experience less.
For that reason, an online pain and suffering calculator is not accurate. These calculators do not consider all factors of a case, including how a person’s injuries impact their daily activities, relationships, and future opportunities.
The insurance company might accept liability for the claim and acknowledge that the victim deserves to be compensated for their pain and suffering. However, insurance companies use various pain and suffering calculators to place a value on non-economic damages for a personal injury claim. Regardless of how insurance companies calculate pain and suffering damages, they also try to downplay the damages to reduce the value of the claim.
Insurance companies may apply a one-size-fits-all pain and suffering calculator, which does not work. Even when they use the multiplier method (more on this method below) to put a price on pain and suffering, their “calculators” do not adequately consider the extent to which your injuries impact your physical and emotional well-being.
Using the Multiplier Method To Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in a Dallas Personal Injury Case
The multiplier method is a common way to determine how much pain and suffering damages are worth. It is not perfect, but it can help the parties determine how much their non-economic damages are worth when used correctly.
A number is assigned to your case based on various factors. The number is between 1.5 and five.
We multiply that number by the total value of your economic damages (financial losses). The result is the value of your pain and suffering damages.
The key to increasing pain and suffering damages is carefully documenting your economic damages. The other part of the calculation is to use as high a multiplier as possible.
Our personal injury attorney in Dallas analyzes each factor in your case during the evaluation process, such as the following:
- The pain and discomfort caused by your injuries and the medical treatments required to treat your injuries
- Your ability to return to work or perform any tasks that allow you to earn an income
- The extent of scarring and disfigurement, including your appearance before and after the accident
- Being diagnosed with PTSD, depression, chronic anxiety, or other psychological conditions because of the accident/injuries
- The length of your recovery and the extent to which you needed personal and/or nursing care at home
- The extent to which the injuries affect your quality of life (i.e., ability to participate in activities, relationships with family and friends, ability to care for your personal needs, and more)
- The existence of pre-existing conditions
- The type and severity of long-term impairments and disabilities
Each case is different, so other factors could impact how much you receive for pain and suffering damages. For example, the insurance policy limits how much the insurance company has to pay for a claim.
The strength of your evidence proving fault and liability is another factor that can increase or decrease the value of a claim. Your fault for causing your injuries can significantly impact how much you receive for pain and suffering damages.
How Does Contributory Fault Impact the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages in Texas?
When you are partially to blame for causing your injuries, it impacts how much you can receive for damages. Texas uses a modified comparative negligence standard for personal injury cases.
If you are more than 50% at fault for the cause of your injuries, the party who caused your injuries is not liable for your damages. However, if you are less than 50% to blame, you could receive some money for your claim, but the amount is reduced by your percentage of fault. Therefore, if you are 20% to blame for causing your injuries, you can only receive 80% of the value of your damages.
Contributory fault applies to all damages awarded for your personal injury claim.
What Types of Pain and Suffering Damages Could I Receive for a Texas Personal Injury Claim?
Non-economic damages encompasses physical and emotional harm and suffering. Examples of pain and suffering damages include:
Physical Pain and Suffering
Injuries can cause overwhelming and debilitating pain and discomfort. Common injuries that cause physical pain include:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe burns
- Crushing injuries
- Nerve damage
- Soft tissue injuries
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Internal organ damage
- Head injuries
- Back injuries
Doctors can explain how an injury could cause pain. However, keeping a daily log of your pain levels and how the pain interfered with your activities can help prove your damages as well.
An accident and injury can cause mental trauma and emotional distress. Emotional distress can include PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), clinical depression, anxiety, embarrassment, grief, and fear. Psychological conditions can be as debilitating as some physical injuries.
Diminished Quality of Life
A victim may experience a significant decrease in their quality of life and enjoyment of life because of their injuries. A permanent impairment could result in loss of cognitive and/or physical function. As a result, the person may be unable to care for themselves, perform various activities, or engage in personal relationships.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer
You deserve compensation for all the harm caused by a negligence or reckless party, including the pain and suffering you experienced. Our Dallas personal injury attorney at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers can fight for full compensation on your behalf. Call now at (214) 855-1420 for a free case evaluation to discuss how we can help you after an accident or personal injury.