Figuring up the complete cost of your medical bills or lost wages is easy; the bills will pile up soon enough.
It’s harder, however, to calculate your intangible losses such as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages can’t be added up mathematically, so the value of your suffering must be calculated in another way.
The state of Texas allows those that have been in negligent accidents to receive compensation for pain and suffering damages, as well. Because they can be considered subjective, however, they can make settling a case complicated.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a way of describing the monetary value of suffering from physical pain, emotional distress, or other types of trauma after an accident that can’t be seen.
As an example, let’s say you suffer a severely broken leg that requires extensive surgery. Receiving compensation for your medical bills doesn’t really cover the complete extent of your suffering: you’ve been in pain for weeks that has made living normally very difficult.
This is where pain and suffering compensation steps up.
The state of Texas does require that anyone who claims pain and suffering must have also experienced a coupling physical injury. This means that the injured victim of a car crash can claim suffering, but a witness that wasn’t injured cannot.
How Pain and Suffering is Calculated
There is no cut and dry means for determining pain and suffering in a personal injury case, and each circumstance is different from the next.
Most often in Texas, deciding the value of one’s pain and suffering comes down to a multiplier. This multiplier assigns an individual’s pain and suffering a number depending on the severity of their injuries.
The injuries are given a number between 1 and 5 (5 being for the most severe injuries). The assigned number is then multiplied by the amount of tangible damages suffered (medical expenses or lost wages) in order to determine a value for the pain and suffering.
The multiplier is, however, merely a framework. It’s not a perfect solution, and victims are able to pursue higher damages if they feel they have not received what they are due.
Check out our article on pain and suffering in Texas to learn more about how damages are defined and valued within the state.