What Constitutes Pain and Suffering?

crying woman

When learning about court cases, you may frequently hear the term “pain and suffering” in relation to personal injury cases. However, understanding the legal implications of this phrase is crucial to protecting yourself if you are the victim of another party’s negligent actions. Keep reading to learn how a Harris County, Texas personal injury lawyer can help you receive the justice you deserve.

What Are Examples of Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering are divided into two categories – mental and physical.

Physical pain references a victim’s bodily injuries and the intense discomfort they’ve experienced as a result of an incident. This includes broken bones, brain damage, muscle strains, organ damage, and scarring. In many cases, these injuries can lead to chronic pain, which impacts a person for an extended period of time, if not the rest of their life.

Suffering refers to the pain and anguish a victim will experience due to the injuries and pain they endure. Mental suffering can include Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, inability to sleep, anxiety, depression, and a decreased quality of life. Often, suffering is a direct result of the pain and trauma of an event that causes injury.

How Are Damages Calculated?

In many cases, pain and suffering result in additional compensation. For example, if you were involved in a car crash, the negligent driver would be responsible for covering the cost of your medical record and vehicle repairs, as well as the determined amount for mental anguish and pain.

In Texas, the factors considered when calculating damage include:

  • Emotional trauma
  • How the pain impacts your ability to perform tasks
  • The pain endured during treatment
  • Overall quality of life after the injury

When considering these factors, the court will award you a monetary amount using one of two methods to calculate the total amount. For example, the multiplier method calculates damages by multiplying the economic damages by the amount of suffering you’ve endured, usually on a scale of one to five.

However, there is also the per diem method, which awards a monetary number to each day it will take until you recover. For those expected to live with chronic conditions, a doctor can pinpoint a “maximum recovery” date on which your state would plateau.

Is There a Cap on Financial Compensation for Pain and Suffering?

Some states place a cap on the damages you can receive during a personal injury lawsuit. This is partially the case for Texas.

There is no cap on non-economic damages for the majority of cases. This means you can receive the full amount of damages for car collisions, workplace injuries, or premises liability claims. However, there is a cap on medical malpractice lawsuits. If you are awarded compensation for injuries caused at the hands of a healthcare provider, you will not be able to receive more than $250,000 for your pain.

If you’re experiencing pain and suffering due to another person’s negligent actions, you don’t have to accept your fate. Contact White Personal Injury today for a free consultation to discuss the details of your case.

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