Texas law has provisions that allow accident and injury victims to sue for damages.
A skilled personal injury and accident attorney can help you get compensation for injuries, property damage and other losses, including lost wages and psychological distress caused by your accident.
Two types of damages
In the Lonestar State, “pain and suffering” can include physical pain, mental anguish and emotional suffering. Accident victims can claim both economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party.
Economic damages are tangible things for which it is easy to assign a price. For example, injury-related hospital bills and totalled cars.
Non-economic damages are losses that can’t be easily assigned a monetary value. For example, if you have developed Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) or other psychological problems, lost a loved one, or lost quality of life as a result of your accident, your pain and suffering are real and valid forms of damage, but the court will have to determine how to compensate for them on a case-by-case basis.
How is pain and suffering determined in Texas?
In the Texas court system, the judge and jury consider a number of factors when deciding how to assign damages for pain and suffering.
For example, in cases of physical injuries, they will consider the severity of the victim’s pain at the time of the accident as well as how serious the pain is in the aftermath, and how long it persists.
With regards to emotional suffering, courts consider the circumstances and try to evaluate how badly they have affected the victim’s life.
There are numerous factors the court takes into account, including:
- The victim’s suffering at the time of the incident
- Pain and suffering caused during the course of any ensuing treatment
- Any resulting long-term pain or loss of function
- Emotional trauma caused by the accident
The judge and jury may also look at whether the victim’s quality of life changed significantly, whether they have lost the ability to engage in normal activities, and whether resulting emotional trauma influences their ability to lead a healthy, normal life.
The pain and suffering multiplier
After determining whether the victim is owed economic or non-economic damages, the court will use a system known as a “multiplier” to assign a monetary value to those damages.
In essence, each finding of non-monetary damage is assigned a number between one and five, with one being the least amount of pain and suffering, and five being the maximum. The multiplier is then applied to the economic damages associated with the accident.
For example, if the court determines a car accident caused $22,000 in specific damages with a multiplier of three, the total damages for pain and suffering would be $66,000.
Getting your due
It is important to understand that this is only a general guideline. Many factors can influence how the court system calculates damages.
There is no upper limit on the amount of non-economic damages that can be assigned in Texas, but claiming them is best done with the help of an excellent personal injury and accident attorney who knows how the system works and will fight to get you your due.
Contact the Stewart Law Firm today
Our auto accident attorneys at The Stewart Law Firm have successfully represented individuals and families harmed in car accidents for over 25 years. Contact us today and let us handle your case and all the details that go along with it, so that you can focus on recovering from what happened.