Damages are the monetary award you receive when a party causes you harm or injury because of negligence or intentional torts. Unfortunately, the courts cannot undo what has happened to you. However, they can hold the party responsible for your injuries financially liable for damages.
Our San Antonio personal injury lawyers at George Salinas Injury Lawyers diligently pursue all parties responsible for your accident or personal injury. Call us today to schedule your free case review if you’re ready to get started. In the meantime, read on to learn all about what non-economic damages are.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages represent the pain and suffering caused by an injury or accident. These damages are subjective because everyone’s experience is unique. However, catastrophic injuries typically increase the value of non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages include, but are not limited to:
Physical Pain and Suffering
You can receive compensation for the physical pain and discomfort caused by injuries. Common injuries caused by accidents and negligence include:
- Traumatic brain injury
- Spinal cord injuries, including paralysis
- Broken bones and fractures
- Internal organ damage
- Soft tissue injury
- Back and neck injuries
- Amputations and loss of limbs
- Vision and hearing loss
The greater the injury, the more physical pain and suffering a person might suffer. Surgeries and intensive rehabilitative therapies can also be factors when determining the value of pain and suffering.
Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish
Accidents and personal injuries also cause mental anguish and emotional distress. After an injury, a person might suffer from the following:
- Severe anxiety
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Distress over disfigurement or impairments
- Night terrors
- Panic attacks
- Eating disorders
- Suicidal thoughts
- Frustration and anger
Any non-physical consequences of an accident may fall under the category of emotional suffering and mental anguish. Proving how much you suffered can be challenging. Keeping a pain and suffering journal with details about your recovery can be very helpful.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life and Diminished Quality of Life
A person may experience a lower quality of life and not enjoy life as much after an injury. The injury might prevent the person from returning to their ordinary daily activities. The person might be unable to participate in sports, recreational, and social activities.
Permanent disabilities and impairments can cause significant changes in a person’s routine and lifestyle. Medical records and your journal are important evidence used to prove non-economic damages.
Scarring, Disfigurement, and Impairments
You could also receive an amount for disfigurement and scarring. Likewise, you could recover compensation for permanent disabilities and impairments. The amount you receive would be relative to the damage.
For example, a scar on your lower back might not be valued as high as significant facial scarring. Likewise, a 10% impairment rating for a broken arm might not be valued as high as partial paralysis because of a spinal cord injury.
How Are Non-Economic Damages Calculated in a San Antonio Personal Injury Case?
It is difficult to put a price on pain and suffering damages. There is no statutory formula for calculating non-economic damages in Texas. However, a common way to value non-economic damages is the multiplier method.
A number between 1.5 and five is assigned based on the facts of the case. Then, that number is multiplied by the victim’s financial losses (economic damages). The result is the value of non-economic damages.
Factors considered when assigning a multiplier include:
- The type of injuries you sustained
- The severity of the injuries and whether they caused permanent impairments or disabilities
- The duration of your recovery
- The need for surgeries and rehabilitative therapies
- Whether you have significant scarring or disfigurement
- Your appearance before and after the accident
- Activities you cannot perform now because of your injuries
In cases that do not involve permanent impairments or disabilities, the parties might agree to a per diem. A per diem is a daily amount paid for pain and suffering. Typically, you multiply the per diem by the number of days between the injury date and when the doctor releases you from treatment.
Insurance companies routinely undervalue non-economic damages, especially when the person is not represented by a lawyer. If you receive a settlement offer, talk with one of our lawyers before accepting the offer or signing a settlement agreement. You could be entitled to more money than you think.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Filing a Non-Economic Damages Claim in Texas?
Texas has a two-year statute of limitations for most personal injury claims. Therefore, if you miss the deadline for filing an injury claim, you cannot pursue a legal claim for damages.
There are exceptions to the two-year deadline for some cases, including cases involving government entities, childhood injuries, and the discovery rule. The best way to avoid missing a filing deadline is to talk with our personal injury attorney now.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyers
At George Salinas Injury Lawyers, we fight to recover the maximum compensation available for your pain and suffering. Our lawyers carefully analyze the evidence and document damages to increase how much money you receive for your personal injury claim. Call our law firm at (210) 225-0909 to schedule a free consultation with an experienced personal injury attorney in San Antonio, TX.