Dallas Lawyers for Pain & Suffering After a Car Accident
If you have been injured in a car accident that wasn’t your fault, you have experienced pain. That is the “pain” part of pain and suffering. In Texas, you are allowed to sue for pain and suffering. But how is the value of such a claim determined? How can you tell a jury that you are in pain and should be compensated? What do the courts consider suffering?
At The Benton Law Firm, we can explain how pain and suffering are calculated and what you must demonstrate to a court to make your case. Contact the Dallas car accident attorneys of The Benton Law Firm at (214) 777-7777 for a confidential consultation and an analysis of your case. You don’t have to bear the pain & suffering after a car accident alone. Let us help you with your accident recovery today. Contact us online, or give us a call at (214) 777-7777.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering have several definitions. Texas courts have indicated that pain and suffering include physical, emotional, and mental anguish. In a personal injury case, pain and suffering are included in “non-economic damages.” Your pain and suffering have not cost you a specific dollar amount in the same way that setting a broken bone incurs hospital costs or doctor visits come with a bill. Some types of pain and suffering have been categorized as mental or emotional conditions like PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder).
Pain and suffering also consider how your life is impacted after the accident. If you have been injured and can no longer carry out your usual activities like you once did, that is considered part of pain and suffering. For instance, if your accident-related injuries mean, you are incapacitated and can no longer drive. The inconvenience and embarrassment of having to be taken places by someone else could be considered part of your pain and suffering.
How Is Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident Calculated?
Putting a dollar value on pain can be challenging because it is entirely subjective. How much pain one person can tolerate differs from what another person can take. Our society places a premium on “grinning and bearing it,” so we tend to view those in chronic pain as drama queens or weaklings.
On the other hand, you should not have to become dependent on painkillers or endure PTSD or depression to satisfy other people’s opinions. If you have been injured in a severe car accident or another type of accident, you have a right to be compensated for your emotional suffering as well as for your physical pain.
The courts use several criteria to evaluate your degree of pain and suffering and then apply a multiplier to the cost of your medical bills to reach a dollar value. The multiplier method assigns your pain and suffering a value between 1.5 to 5. This number is reached based on several factors.
The actual pain from any medical treatments
This is subjective but is based on the “reasonable person” standard. For instance, a splinter in the thumb is less painful than open-heart surgery. A broken toe is less painful than a broken hip.
The medical profession has slowly realized that “chronic pain” from nerve damage, or even for no reason, is real and debilitating. Some tests can be performed for this type of pain, but your best proof is your statements.
Emotional or mental trauma
This may be everything from headaches and nightmares to anxiety attacks. Sometimes you may have doctor’s reports to back you up or statements from family and friends who have seen your altered behavior.
Quality of life
Suppose the accident has changed your lifestyle or ability to carry out daily activities, even if you are not physically disabled. In that case, you may claim this as pain and suffering. For instance, if your anxiety prevents you from leaving the house, your quality of life is seriously diminished, and you should be able to claim compensation for this.
Once a number value has been reached, the dollar value of your medical bills is totaled and then multiplied by the multiplier number. For instance, if your medical bills were $10,000 and your multiplier was three, your pain and suffering would be $30,000.
Insurance companies like to keep the multiplier as low as possible for obvious reasons. Your attorney will attempt to prove by witness statements and other means that the accident seriously impacts your pain and quality of life.
What Other Methods Can Be Used to Calculate Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident?
In Texas, if your injury did not cause you any traumatic injuries or chronic disability, you might use the “per diem” or “per day” method. This method does not compensate you for pain and suffering but is a lump sum payment for the time you were incapacitated.
The per diem method takes the same fundamental factors as the multiplier method and instead assigns a dollar value to the daily pain and suffering. Then that value is multiplied by the number of days you were incapacitated. That figure will be the amount of your pain and suffering recovery.
For instance, suppose you broke your leg and were in the hospital for 20 days. There was no lasting disability. The per diem amount the jury or the negotiation parties agreed upon was $200. Your pain and suffering recovery would be $4000, or $200 multiplied by 20. This method can be preferable for superficial injuries without lengthy recovery periods or lasting impact since it is not as dependent on outside factors.
If you have any pressing questions that need immediate answers, contact us online or call us at (214) 777-7777 today.
How We Can Help
Insurance companies would always prefer to minimize subjective payments like pain and suffering, if only because there is no hard evidence for how much something hurt or how bad you feel. They may offer you a payment that does not reflect what you should be paid.
Before you accept any settlement from an insurance company after a car accident, consult the Dallas car accident attorneys of The Benton Law Firm about your accident and options. Our attorneys are standing by to review your case and advise you on the best way to get compensation for your pain and suffering.