When another party causes you harm, the courts cannot undo what happened to you.
The only remedy they have is to hold the party who caused your injury financially liable for the harm you suffered. Damages are the remedy the court awards to victims to make them “whole” after a personal injury or accident.
What Are Non-Economic Damages in a Texas Personal Injury Case?
Non-economic damages are a type of compensatory damage in a personal injury case. They compensate you for the pain and suffering you experienced because of the accident and your injuries.
Common examples of non-economic damages in a Dallas personal injury case include:
Physical Pain and Discomfort
When you sustain physical injuries, you suffer from discomfort and pain immediately after the injury and during the healing and recovery process.
Common injuries that result in physical pain and suffering include, but are not limited to:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Head trauma and traumatic brain injuries
- Injuries and damage to internal organs
- Spinal cord injuries
- Neck injuries and whiplash
- Soft tissue injuries
- Loss of limbs and amputations
- Back injuries
- Lacerations, abrasions, and puncture wounds
Everyone experiences different pain levels and handles physical pain in different ways. Generally, catastrophic injuries are assumed to cause more pain than minor injuries that heal in a few weeks. Surgery and extensive rehabilitative therapy can increase the level of pain.
Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress
Being involved in an accident and sustaining an injury can be traumatic. The trauma of the experience and the recovery period can cause emotional distress and mental anguish.
Examples of these damages include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Panic attacks
- Frustration and anger
- Distress or embarrassment of impairments, disfigurement, and scarring
- Suicidal thoughts
- Eating disorders
- Night terrors
- Problems sleeping
Psychological conditions may require counseling and therapy. Creating a journal detailing your emotional response to a personal injury or accident can provide details your attorney can use to build a stronger case for non-economic damages.
Impairments, Disabilities, Scarring, and Disfigurement
Accident victims deserve compensation for the conditions caused by an accident. Some injuries have life-long consequences. They impact numerous areas of a person’s life.
Even if the impairment is partial, you can recover compensation for the damages. For example, you can receive non-economic damages for a 25% impairment rating after a back injury or broken bone.
Diminished Quality of Life and Loss of Enjoyment of Life
When you sustain an impairment or disability after an accident or personal injury, the condition can have life-altering effects. For example, you might be unable to care for yourself or your family. You might not be able to return to work or your previous activities.
The result is a decrease in your quality of life and enjoyment of life. Your attorney will use medical records, expert opinions, and testimony to prove how your injury impacts your overall enjoyment of life.
Calculating a Value for Non-Economic Damages in a Texas Personal Injury Case
Unfortunately, state law does not contain a standard formula for calculating the value of non-economic damages. It is challenging to put a price on pain and suffering because everyone suffers differently. However, many parties use the multiplier method to calculate how much non-economic damages are worth.
A number between 1.5 and 5 is assigned based on the severity and type of injury. Factors that can increase the number include, but are not limited to:
- Sustaining permanent impairments
- Having significant scarring or disfigurement
- A long recovery
- Going through one or more surgeries
- The need for extensive rehabilitative therapy
- Being unable to perform everyday activities
The number assigned for pain and suffering is multiplied by the total economic damages in the case. The result is the value of non-economic damages.
Some cases use a per diem method instead of a multiplier to value non-economic damages. A specific amount is assigned per day for pain and suffering. That amount is multiplied by the number of days between the injury date and when the doctor releases you from care.
Unfortunately, insurance companies consistently downplay and undervalue non-economic damages. Many people do not realize they are entitled to these damages or how much they are worth. Therefore, the insurance adjuster might take advantage of the lack of legal representation to pay a lower value for non-economic damages.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for Non-Economic Damages in a Texas Personal Injury Case?
There is a two-year statute of limitations for filing most personal injury lawsuits in Texas. However, because exceptions to the rule can change the deadline, we urge you to contact us as soon as possible to discuss your case with an attorney.
Contact a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Non-Economic Damages
You deserve compensation for the pain and suffering caused by a negligent or reckless party. Contact an experienced personal injury attorney at Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers for a free consultation to discuss your injuries and the compensation you can recover for your economic and non-economic losses at (214) 855-1420.