No one expects to be hurt due to someone else’s negligence, so it’s normal to feel uncertain about how you should seek compensation for your injuries. If you’ve been wondering things like “how do I find a personal injury lawyer near me?” and “how is reimbursement for pain and suffering determined?”, keep reading. Here’s what you need to know about seeking compensation for your pain and suffering in Houston, TX.
How Is “Pain and Suffering” Calculated in Texas?
While it is easy to quantify injury-related expenses such as medical bills or damaged property, other losses can be more challenging to value. Pain and suffering damages (compensation) refer to the emotional and physical distress caused by the at-fault party’s actions. There are numerous ways to calculate pain and suffering in Houston, TX, but two methods are the most common, as they are easy to use and scale to fit the circumstances.
You have a right to pursue reimbursement for the damage done to you. Still, to be successful, you’ll want to work with an experienced lawyer. That means you shouldn’t just search for “personal injury lawyer near me” online. Instead, you’ll want to trust your claim to lawyers experienced in personal injury law. They will be able to navigate requesting reimbursement for a pain and suffering claim.
What Kind of Damages Are Pain and Suffering?
Before delving into how you can calculate the value of your pain and suffering, it’s essential to understand what type of damages pain and suffering are. Since pain and suffering are non-economic damages, they are subjective and don’t come with an itemized bill. Instead, pain and suffering damages must be awarded case-by-case, as each individual will respond to an injury uniquely.
This article will also reference economic damages, which are the damages most individuals think of in lawsuits and insurance claims. These damages are accompanied by a specific number backed by a bill or other documentation. Loss or damaged personal belongings, medical expenses, and time off work all fall under the umbrella of economic damage.
Top Two Methods for Calculating Pain and Suffering
Although every court or adjuster in Texas doesn’t use the same set pain and suffering calculator, two calculators are frequently used to place a value on pain and suffering. Both are designed to help establish a fair value for non-economic damages. Using one of these calculators will support your claim when dealing with insurance adjusters and show that your valuation is legitimate if your case escalates to court.
The Per Diem Method
The per diem method of calculating compensation for pain and suffering works by deciding on an appropriate payment the victim deserves per day. If the case goes to court, the jury must determine whether the amount is suitable. If a claim is settled outside of court, your lawyer and the insurance adjuster will negotiate a fair daily amount. Once a daily value has been determined, that number will be multiplied by the days the claimant (injured party) spent recovering.
For example, suppose you received a spinal cord injury that took a year to heal. While healing, your quality of life was negatively impacted. If the jury decides that you deserve a per diem amount of $200, you will receive $73,000 as compensation for your pain and suffering.
Impact on Economic Damages
The compensation you receive for your pain and suffering will be added to your economic damages. Economic damages are intended to repay you for tangible losses, and non-economic injuries account for non-tangible losses. That means the compensation for your pain and suffering shouldn’t affect your reimbursement for medical bills or other concrete expenses.
The Multiplier Method
The other common way to determine non-economic losses is the multiplier method. This option multiplies the amount of economic damages the claimant is granted by a number between one and five. The severity of the victim’s injuries and how greatly they impact their lives will determine what scoring they receive. Wounds severely affecting the rest of the victim’s life will score higher, and those that only cause temporary suffering will score lower.
For example, say you sustained an injury that resulted in medical bills totaling $20,000. If the adjuster and your lawyer, or the jury, found three to be a fitting multiplier for your pain and suffering, you would be granted $60,000 for your pain and suffering. Remember, you’ll want an experienced lawyer handling this decision since the adjuster will be angling to give you the lowest multiplier possible.
Impact on Economic Damages
Following the payment decisions determined in the above example, the $60,000 you receive for pain and suffering would be added to the $20,000 economic damages. This reimbursement would provide you with compensation totaling $80,000
Types of Pain and Suffering Damages
Physical pain is the most straightforward non-economic damage because everyone has experienced pain. Damage to your body from the accident that causes discomfort ranging from mild to severe is grounds for seeking compensation for physical pain.
Also called mental anguish, mental suffering refers to feelings of anxiety, depression, distress, fright, grief, or trauma from the incident. These feelings may require you to seek counseling or medical care.
If the accident results in permanent negative changes to the appearance of the victim’s face or body, they can request reimbursement. Burns, scarring, and partial and complete amputations all fall under the category of disfigurement. In addition, individuals whose income was based on their appearances, such as actors and models, can request greater reimbursement because the accident will limit or erase their career prospects.
Loss of Quality of Life
What defines loss of quality of life is very subjective since individuals value different things. However, some losses, such as injuries that limit mobility, sexual performance, sight, hearing, or fine motor skills, are considered universal.
Supporting Your Pain and Suffering Claim
When you seek damages for pain and suffering, you’ll need evidence to prove the validity of your claim. The more evidence you can provide to the insurance adjuster and the jury, the more likely you will receive generous compensation for your pain and suffering. Evidence supporting your claim could be:
- Your testimony
- Statements from people who have witnessed the accident’s effect on your life
- Evaluations from your therapist or psychiatrist
- Medical and physical therapy records
- Testimony from a medical professional
- Photos and videos of your injury and recovery
Have You Been Searching Online for a “Personal Injury Lawyer Near Me?”
Since many personal injury cases are settled out of court, claimants must understand that they will still have to negotiate with the insurance adjuster if they do not hire a personal injury attorney. Additionally, victims with attorneys representing them receive greater compensation than those representing themselves. Lawyers are much more effective at securing the maximum payout when pursuing compensation for pain and suffering.
The non-tangible nature of pain and suffering claims makes them easier to dismantle. The average individual will not be able to negotiate effectively with an insurance adjuster. Don’t miss out on the reimbursement you deserve; work with a personal injury lawyer no matter how straightforward your claim seems.
Contact Skilled Injury Attorneys in Houston, TX
An experienced attorney will provide the guidance you need to successfully file your injury claim and seek fair reimbursement for economic and non-economic damages. They will speak to witnesses, collect evidence, and help you build a solid case to prove you are deserving of damages.
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s mistake, don’t trust the adjuster to offer you a fair settlement. Having a dedicated personal injury lawyer on your team ensures you have someone looking out for your interests. Contact Houston Injury Lawyers, PLLC, today and let our team pursue the compensation you deserve.