In cases of injuries caused by someone else’s negligence or harmful actions, the victim may seek to sue for damages for pain and suffering. However, pain and suffering damages are not as easy to quantify as medical expenses or lost wages, where an amount can be easily figured.
If you have been injured, an experienced Fort Worth personal injury attorney can assist you in pursuing a lawsuit for pain and suffering. The caring personal injury lawyers at Anderson & Cummings will advise you if a lawsuit is appropriate in your situation. Contact us for a free, no obligation consultation today.
Call (817) 920-9000 to talk to a member of our legal team.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering can include:
- Physical injuries and resulting pain
- Ongoing emotional trauma
- Potential shortening of the victim’s life
- Embarrassment caused by scarring or disfigurement
Pain and suffering is often experienced in personal injury cases, and it may also occur in Fort Worth wrongful death cases where the victim’s loved ones experience ongoing mental and emotional anguish.
Why File a Pain and Suffering Lawsuit?
Although insurance companies may offer a settlement that includes pain and suffering damages, sometimes they are reluctant to do so. They may say your injury is not severe enough or you do not have enough proof of your pain and suffering. That is why it can be very important to have a trusted lawyer to help you out.
At Anderson & Cummings, our experienced attorneys are aggressive and will not settle for a lowball offer from the insurance company. If the injuries you suffered may have a negative effect on your future health, we are prepared to file a claim to fight for the compensation you need.
Proving Pain and Suffering in Texas
Unlike medical bills or lost wages, pain and suffering does not automatically have a specific monetary value attached. This makes claims of pain and suffering harder to prove and evaluate.
Experienced personal injury lawyers know how to gather evidence to support claims of pain and suffering. A lawyer may assess the mental and emotional impact of physical injuries, or use medical documentation to support claims of chronic pain caused by the injury. Your personal injury attorney may hire medical professionals and other industry experts to document your condition to build your case.
How Is Pain and Suffering Evaluated?
Pain and suffering is different in every personal injury case. There is no specific formula used to determine compensation for pain and suffering, though the following factors are considered:
- Type of injuries
- Number of injuries
- Severity and extent of injuries
- Recovery time
- Future medical treatments required
- Future surgery required
- Physical and/or occupational therapy required
- Scarring and disfigurement caused by the injuries
- Shortened life expectancy due to the injuries
- Health and age prior to the injuries
- Pain experienced from the injuries
- Expected chronic pain
- Future quality of life
- Trauma resulting from the accident
- Worsening of pre-existing medical conditions because of the injuries
How is Pain and Suffering Valued?
In Texas, pain and suffering are often calculated using a multiplier – the total value of economic damages is multiplied by another number to determine the value of pain and suffering. The multiplier can range from one to five and corresponds to the severity of the injury.
For example, a sprained wrist may heal relatively quickly, so it would only be assigned a multiplier of one. However, a more serious injury such as a spinal cord injury that caused paralysis may be assigned a five.
Say you broke your leg in a car accident and the cost to treat the injury was $10,000. If the injury was assigned a multiplier of three, you may be eligible for $30,000.
Keep in mind that this model is not an exact science and is more of a guideline. There are circumstances in a case that may sway a jury to increase or decrease the value of pain and suffering damages.
At the end of the day, negotiating with the insurance company for a fair settlement is generally the first step in a personal injury case. If that fails, a lawsuit may be the next option.
What is the Multiplier Method in Texas?
Insurance companies in Texas use the multiplier method to determine the value of pain and suffering in personal injury cases. The insurer will add up your medical expenses and lost income from missing work and multiply the sum on a scale between 1.5 and five, depending on the severity of your injuries. Life threatening injuries would get a four or five and minor injuries may receive a 1.5 or 2.
For example, if you were in a car accident and suffered a broken arm and had to miss time from work, the insurance company might only give you a 1.5. However, if you sustained serious brain damage and had to endure months of therapy, you might receive a four or five for the multiplier method.
Is There a Limit to the Amount of Compensation for Pain and Suffering?
In Texas, although there are no limits to the amount of pain and suffering you could receive in a car accident, premises liability, slip and fall or defective product claim, there is a damage cap of $250,000 on pain and suffering for a medical malpractice claim.
If the multiplier method comes out to be higher in a medical malpractice case, you would not be able to receive more than the $250,000 limit for pain and suffering.
What is the Per Diem Method?
Another way pain and suffering could be calculated is by using the per diem method. This method involves counting the total number of days of pain and suffering and multiplying it by a specific daily rate.
For example, if the injured victim endured 60 days of pain and suffering, and the determined value of the daily rate was $200 per day, the victim would receive $12,000.
Have Questions? We Can Help
The experienced attorneys at Anderson & Cummings assist clients in accurately valuing the pain and suffering caused by another person’s actions. We can thoroughly investigate your case and help you pursue compensation for the damages you have sustained.
Schedule a free, no obligation consultation today and learn the legal options available to you. When working with our firm, you pay no upfront fees. Legal fees are only charged if we help you recover compensation.
Call (817) 920-9000 or complete our Free Case Evaluation form today.