Car accidents happen every single day here in Texas. Often, they result in devastating injuries or loss of life. If another driver was to blame for the accident, chances are you can file a lawsuit and pursue compensation. When it comes to recovering damages for a car accident, most people think about lost wages, medical expenses, and long-term rehabilitation. But what about the emotional trauma you experienced? Grief, pain and suffering, and emotional upheaval are all universal following a car accident, especially one that resulted in the loss of a loved one. And while no amount of money or retribution will bring back that person, receiving compensation for pain and suffering helps.
If you’ve never been in an accident before, you may not realize you have the right to a fair settlement. Depending on the circumstances of your case, proving that another driver, cyclist, or pedestrian was the at-fault party is an integral element. Recovering damages for out-of-pocket expenses like medical bills, rehabilitation, and prescription medications are relatively straightforward, unlike pain and suffering. One reason for this is that pain and suffering are less tangible than actual expenses like medical bills.
Although it can be a challenge to prove, seeking damages for pain and suffering is something most people do — even if the accident was relatively minor. The less serious the accident, the more difficult it is to prove your injuries were emotional. This is why it is so important to hire an experienced personal injury attorney. We can help you, whether your symptoms showed up late, you were the innocent victim of a car wreck, or you lost a loved one in a tragic accident. Today we are going to discuss pain and suffering and car accident victim rights. We are often asked how pain and suffering is calculated and what some factors are that help determine compensation. If you have any questions after this article, contact The Green Law Firm today.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is typically categorized as general damages by lawyers and is the most common example of intangible losses following a car accident. Before we can look at how pain and suffering is calculated, it helps to define it. Pain and suffering is any physical or emotional anguish that happens as the result of an accident and the injuries that occurred as a result. This can include physical injuries as well as aches and pains, mental anguish from losing a loved one, embarrassment from injuries, depression, or anything else you experienced following the accident.
Examples of General Damages
Legally speaking, general damages refers to a wide range of mental, psychological, or emotional losses suffered in an accident. Examples include:
- Chronic pain
- Aches, stiffness, and immobility
- Permanent scarring
- Disfigurement or permanent disability
- Loss of limb
- Any level of physical discomfort
- Mental anguish
- Anxiety, depression, or any other changes to a person’s mental state
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of quality of life
- Loss of career
- Loss of financial support from a partner
These are just some examples of what is considered pain and suffering. If you have experienced any of the above following a Brownsville car accident, contact The Green Law today. Our attorneys are here to answer your questions and help ensure justice is served. Unfortunately, insurance companies often try to take advantage of car accident victims by offering them a settlement far less than what they deserved. Don’t let this happen to you — contact our personal injury law firm today.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
To say quantifying pain and suffering can be a challenge is an understatement. When it comes to recovering damages for intangible damages, it’s crucial you understand the two most common methods used to calculate what you are owed:
- Multiplier Method
- Per Diem Method
The Multiplier Method
The more common of the two, the multiplier method is relatively straightforward. In the event the case is brought to court, the jury will take the total value of the plaintiff’s monetary damages and multiple by a number between 1.5 and 5. The amount used will depend on a host of factors. Namely, how severe the plaintiff’s pain and suffering is. For example, if the plaintiff suffered traumatic, permanent injuries such as loss of a limb that has left them depressed and stressed out, the jury may decide on a multiplier of 4. Therefore, if the out-of-pocket expenses are around $300,000 for the injuries and all associated costs, that number would be multiplied by 4.5, and the plaintiff would be awarded $1.35 million.
The Per Diem Method
Not as commonly used is the per diem method, which comes from the Latin phrase “each day.” When the per diem method is used, general damages like pain and suffering are calculated based on the number of days you have suffered because of the accident. You will see this method used in cases with shorter recovery periods and less severe injuries. The rate per day is usually based on the plaintiff’s daily working wage, which is then multiplied by the number of days the person experienced symptoms following the accident.
As you can imagine, the more serious the accident and injuries, the bigger the payout. Numerous factors contribute to how compensation is determined in car accident claims here in Texas, including who was at fault and what led to the accident. If you’ve never been involved in an accident before, filing a lawsuit or seeking compensation can be intimidating. We encourage you to contact The Green Law Law and let our lawyers help you. You must be able to convey both the pain and suffering you’ve experienced. Document everything, including your own oral testimony of your experience and the written opinion of an expert in the field. To learn more about your rights and how pain and suffering is calculated in Texas, contact The Green Law Firm today.