After an unexpected accident caused by another person’s careless behavior, a personal injury lawsuit can recover damages (compensation) for your losses. The types of damages may include medical bills, damage to property, lost income, and pain and suffering. Pain and suffering, however, can be difficult to calculate since there is no receipt or bill for this type of loss. Instead, a different method is used in Texas to determine its value.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a type of damages that can be pursued in a personal injury lawsuit for the prolonged effects that an accident and injury have on a victim’s life.
Damages That Fall Under Pain and Suffering
There are typically two types of damages that fall under pain and suffering: physical and mental.
- Physical pain and suffering: serious injuries are painful and debilitating. Many victims continue to experience chronic pain and discomfort, along with reduced mobility, for years following an accident or for the rest of their lives. As a result, it can be difficult or impossible to perform everyday tasks, or engage in favorite activities and hobbies.
- Mental pain and suffering: victims often suffer psychological complications after an injury accident. For instance, the following are commonly associated with serious injuries: depression, anxiety, fear, mood swings, loss of enjoyment of life, lack of energy, humiliation, sleep disturbances, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and newly developed phobias. All of which can make it difficult to cope with daily life.
In general, the more severe the injury, the greater the pain and suffering award will be.
The Multiplier Method
In Texas, the multiplier method is commonly used to calculate pain and suffering damages. This technique first calculates all of your economic damages, such as medical bills, damage to property, and lost wages, stemming from your injury. That amount is then multiplied by a certain rate between 1.5 and 5, depending upon the severity of your injuries.
As an example, if your economic damages total $10,000 and a judge or jury decides to use a multiplier of 2, the amount of pain and suffering damages you would receive is $20,000. With the $10,000 in economic damages, your total compensation would be $30,000.
The following factors are often taken into account when an insurance company, judge, or jury is determining the multiplier rate:
- The severity of the injuries
- The victim’s age
- The impact the injuries have on the victim’s life
- Permanent vs. temporary injuries
- Pre-existing conditions
- Level of disability
- Nature of a disfigurement
- The amount of economic damages
If a multiplier of 1.5 is chosen, your injuries are believed to be minor, whereas a multiplier of 5 would mean your pain and suffering is extreme.
Injured? Contact an Austin Personal Injury Attorney
If you’re wondering how your pain and suffering damages will be calculated in your personal injury claim, call the Villarreal & Begum Law Firm. Our skilled Austin injury lawyers will determine the true value of your case and help you obtain it. Schedule a free consultation today, call (512) 888-7777 or contact us online.