Pain and suffering from injuries is a serious component of personal injury law. No client should ever have to endure the pains that they do. No money will ever make amends for the suffering they endure, but it is our duty as personal injury attorneys to advocate for their well-being. That certainly means securing the largest possible settlement or verdict for our clients. Continue reading to better understand this nuanced area of personal injury law.
Pain and suffering can play an important part in a personal injury case, however it can be difficult to define. Sometimes it is known as “general damage.”
Some examples of pain and suffering may include an amateur soccer player’s loss of ability to play the game they love, or a fiancé who’s relationship has been damaged by serious pain and discomfort. These examples fall under two types of personal pain:
Physical pain and suffering
Injuries can be extremely painful. And they may continue to be painful for a long time. Physical pain and suffering refers to the plaintiff’s pain and discomfort at the time of the lawsuit as well as an evaluation of the predicted future suffering of the plaintiff.
Mental pain and suffering
Mental pain may also be called “mental anguish” in a personal injury case. A person who is experiencing mental anguish may be unable to return to work even after the injuries have healed. A person’s depression because of an accident can become part of their personal injury cases. That accident victim may seek compensation for therapy and loss of income.
Legal Aspects of Pain and Suffering
In Texas, victims of pain and suffering may see some damage caps on their pain and suffering. It is typically calculated according to the value of the economic damages.
There are often two parts to calculating a personal injury case. Concrete damages such as those that cover something you might receive a receipt, bill, or statement for are known as “specials.” Specials damages cover the costs of medical care following the injury, lost wages, and future lost wages or medical care such as surgery. These items can be calculated with a realistic dollar amount based on markets or pay stubs.
However “pain and suffering” damages are non-economic. There is no market value for pain or loss of enjoyment. Therefore, a definition would be harder to construct and wouldn’t apply in every case. Calculating pain and suffering and receiving compensation really depends on the talent of your lawyer. A jury verdict, with evidence such as a “day in the life” video explaining the pain and suffering of the victim may compel the jury to award a larger sum of money.
This number may be arrived at by taking the sum of the “specials” and putting it against an arbitrary multiple. The number of times it is multiplied may depend upon the severity of the injury. There are several factors that may affect the multiplier used in calculating pain and suffering damages:
- If there were aggravating circumstances in the accident, such as the influence of drugs, or driving while drunk.
- How long the recovery took
- If the victim will ever be able to recover.
A lawyer will better be able to calculate the damages in your case. A skilled lawyer will be able to negotiate those damages.
Calculating pain and suffering from medical malpractice lawsuit:
In Texas, there are caps on pain and suffering awards from health care lawsuits. (But Medical costs and lost wages remain uncapped in Texas.) In 2003, a Texas lawsuit determined a cap on noneconomic damages in health care liability cases. Now these damages are limited to between $250,000 and $750,000 depending upon the defendants in the suit.
Calculating pain and suffering in a dog bite injury case
Dog bite cases typically involve working with an insurance adjuster from a homeowner insurance policy or possibly a renter’s insurance policy. These cases can have limits, based on an insurance policy’s maximum. However, that doesn’t mean that that’s the only compensation the victim could receive. Punitive damages may allow a victim in a severe dog bite case to secure damages for mental anguish or loss of enjoyment of life.
Jury awards maximum settlement, plus $10,000 in punitive damages to client of McMinn Law Firm.
Jason McMinn says the settlement shows how much the community of Georgetown values safety in their back yards.
See footage of the interview on KVUE here.
In this $110,000 settlement, attorney’s fees were $44,000.
Texas is a “one bite rule” state. Find out more about the “one bite rule.”
Calculating pain and suffering in a car accident case
Economic damages play a large role in determining pain and suffering claims in car accident cases. The costs incurred while receiving medical care, chiropractic visits, any surgery or rehab will be the baseline for determining how much to receive in non-economic damages.
The insurance adjuster will take the sum of your medical expenses and multiply that number by 2, or more (possibly as high as 10) depending upon the anguish caused by the injuries. This number, added to your economic damages will be the point at which negotiations for your car accident injury case can begin.
Get a personalized quote pain and suffering estimate today. Call personal injury lawyers at McMinn Law Firm.
The pain from a personal injury case can be life changing and immobilizing. Regaining a sense of enjoyment is something that cannot be seen and only felt. A victim of a serious car or truck accident may have feelings that non-economic damages are controversial.
If you are experiencing pain and suffering, you need an experienced personal injury lawyer on your side. Pain and suffering are serious and important parts of many personal injury cases. Because the damages cannot be seen, and they are not easy to define, an experienced personal injury lawyer is needed to demonstrate during litigation how serious the pain and suffering is to their client.