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What Constitutes Pain and Suffering in a Texas Auto Accident Case?

Joseph Meaney2 years ago

In Texas, pain and suffering is a type of damage available in a personal injury claim, such as in an auto accident case. Pain and suffering addresses the physical and mental trauma that a person experienced in an accident, in the aftermath of the accident, and during any medical procedures that were needed as a result. In many auto accident cases, establishing significant pain and suffering is one of the most important pieces of a personal injury claim or lawsuit.

Catastrophic injuries, including traumatic brain injuries and spinal cord injuries, cause tremendous pain and suffering. Auto accidents oftentimes leave victims with severe, long-lasting and debilitating physical injuries that can also lead to mental and emotional injuries. In these cases, pain and suffering (physically and mentally) is often easy to recognize. However, the amount awarded for pain and suffering is ultimately left up to a jury’s decision.

In order to successfully show the extent of an injured victim’s pain and suffering, it is imperative to have thorough and exhaustive documentation of medical treatments and therapies from physicians, surgeons, nurses, and psychologists. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist you with this process and also help with presenting your case clearly and convincingly before a jury.

General Damages vs. Special Damages

In a personal injury case, an injured victim seeks to recover damages from the negligent party. Damages are awarded to make the plaintiff in a personal injury case whole again with monetary compensation. General damages and special damages (or non-economic and economic damages) are two categories of damages that could be awarded in a successful case. What is the difference between these two types of damages?

General damages can be difficult to quantify because there is no price tag or bill on an injury and its associated pain. The amount awarded for a type of general damage can vary greatly from plaintiff to plaintiff, even if the injuries sustained are quite similar. A jury will subjectively consider how much pain and trauma you have incurred as a result of the accident and award a monetary amount for each individual damage. Examples of general damages include:

  • Disfigurement or impairment
  • Emotional trauma
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Mental anguish
  • Pain and suffering

Your legal team and expert witnesses will help the jury understand and see what you have experienced physically, mentally, and emotionally after an accident. A life care plan expert witness can provide an assessment of the current and future needs of an individual suffering from a catastrophic injury and detail how much medical treatment will cost over that person’s lifetime.

Special damages can be proven to near exact monetary amounts because these damages have specific costs. These damages are awarded to compensate an injured victim for the out-of-pocket costs associated with the accident. Examples of special damages include:

  • Medical costs (hospital and doctor visits, medications, therapies, etc.)
  • Lost wages
  • Lost earning capacity
  • Repair of vehicle or property

These damages include costs that occurred in the past and are anticipated in the future. If a person is unable to return to work after an accident or is expected to require additional surgeries, therapy, and treatment in the future, they are able to seek compensation for these future costs.

Receiving compensation for the cost of a surgical procedure, such as a spinal cord surgery, may not seem sufficient enough. You can recover compensation for pain and suffering that resulted from an injury in addition to the medical costs of the procedure.

Injured in an Auto Accident? Call Thomas J. Henry Injury Attorneys

If you or a loved one have been injured in an auto accident, contact our experienced accident lawyers immediately. We are available 24/7, nights and weekends to evaluate your claim and provide you with a free case review. If you cannot make it to one of our Texas law offices, we can come to you at your home, place of work, or hospital to discuss your injuries and the accident that caused them.

Our attorneys are dedicated to clients who have fallen victim to another person’s negligence and sustained serious, life-changing injuries. Let us help you achieve the real results you need and fight for the maximum amount of compensation possible. Call Thomas J. Henry today to begin your legal consultation.

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