Pain and suffering is one of the most common and most significant types of non-economic damages in Texas personal injury cases. But, pain and suffering damages can be confusing, and it can be difficult for an injured person to know what to expect. Here’s what you need to know about what pain and suffering damages are, when they may be awarded, and how they’re calculated.
Economic v. Non-economic Damages
Pain and suffering damages, like emotional distress, are classified as non-economic damages. So, the first step toward understanding compensation for pain and suffering is to understand the difference between economic and non-economic damages.
In simplest terms, economic damages are countable financial damages. Some of the most common types of economic damages include medical expenses, lost wages, and other expenses associated with the injury. While the parties may argue about what expenses are the reasonable result of the injury, and experts may disagree about the exact amount of damages like lost future earnings, a clear dollar value may be assigned to economic damages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, loss of quality of life, and emotional distress. These types of damages are less clear cut, because there is no objective dollar amount that corresponds to a certain amount of pain or a period of emotional distress.
Is There a Pain and Suffering Calculator?
You may see formulas that attempt to predict the damages that may be awarded for pain and suffering in a personal injury case. Often, these calculations are based on a multiplier applied to the total amount of economic damages. In some cases, those formulas can provide an approximation of the amount of damages that may be available to compensate for pain and suffering and other non-economic damages. Personal injury lawyers and insurance company attorneys may even use these calculations in their negotiations. But, those estimates are just that–loose estimates.
The amount of pain and suffering damages that may be available in a settlement or may be awarded by a jury will vary from case to case, and can never be precisely predicted. However, an experienced Texas personal injury attorney will be able to explain how the relevant factors are typically weighted, and to provide some pain and suffering settlement examples to give you an idea of the possible range of damages.
Quantifying Pain and Sufferingcar
Intangible damages like pain and suffering and emotional distress are one reason it’s so important to work with an experienced local injury lawyer if you’ve been hurt in a car accident, slip and fall on someone else’s property, or in some other way through somebody else’s negligence. Conveying those damages to a jury and helping them understand how to attach a dollar value to something that can’t be measured is tricky.
The right personal injury attorney will have the experience necessary to make this complex issue understandable to the jury and know how to support those claims through medical records, quality of life evidence, and the strategic use of expert witnesses.
Pain and Suffering Damages are Real
Though pain and suffering may not be easy to measure in monetary terms, it represents a serious harm that you should be compensated for. Depending on the nature of the injury, pain and suffering may impact an injured person for only a short time after the accident, for months of rehabilitation and healing, or permanently. The pain may be sporadic or constant. It may be predictable or strike at random, interrupting events and making it difficult to plan. It may be relatively low-level or be so severe that it makes it difficult to concentrate, sleep, or participate in activities you once enjoyed.
Get the Help You Need from a Texas Pain and Suffering Attorney
If you’re suffering after an injury that was somebody else’s fault, don’t delay seeking counsel. The sooner you connect with an experienced personal injury attorney, the sooner you can hand off the burden of pursuing fair compensation and shift your focus to your recovery. Getting started early also gives your lawyer the best opportunity to gather evidence, talk to witnesses, and build your case while memories are fresh and physical evidence is available. And, of course, the longer you wait to get started, the longer it will take to reach a settlement or get a trial date.
Why not schedule a consultation with an attorney at the Law Office of George Salinas right now? Our attorneys are experienced in personal injury litigation, and offer free consultations to make sure you have the information you need to take the next steps. Just call 210-225-0909 or fill out the contact form on this site. Or, if you prefer, click in the lower right corner of this page to chat.
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