Under the Texas personal injury laws, you are eligible to recover both economic and non-economic damages for your injuries that were caused due to another’s fault. Non-economic damages refer to losses where a predetermined monetary value cannot be assigned. These may include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of quality of life, and loss of companionship.
What Constitutes Pain and Suffering under Texas Law?
According to Texas courts, the legal definition of pain and suffering can include physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional suffering. It could include a tangible condition such as the pain occurring due to a broken bone or cuts and lacerations, and more abstract forms of suffering such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). If a victim suffers from panic, depression, anxiety, stress or other disorders during and after a personal injury, they have a right to claim compensation for their suffering from the at-fault party in Texas.
How Do Texas Courts Evaluate Pain?
When determining a monetary value to compensate for pain and suffering of a personal injury victim in Texas, the judge and the jury will take into account the extent of pain that the victim experienced at the time of the injury. They also factor in the persistent or continued pain they may have experienced later (or continue to experience) as a result of the injury. In cases of emotional suffering, the court will look at the circumstances involved in the case. For instance, a child victim of a dog bite may become terrified and stop playing outdoors after the incident, or suffer from nightmares or other disruptions to a normal childhood.
The court in Texas will take into account the harm caused to the child’s psyche and the ensuing emotional suffering he or she sustained.
Factors that could influence the final calculation of pain and suffering include:
Immediate pain suffered after the injury
Pain occurring from the necessary medical treatment
Chronic or long-term pain
Mental or emotional trauma caused by the incident
How the victim’s quality of life got impacted or altered by the injury
Whether the pain and suffering hampers certain normal activities in the victim’s life
Fear or psychological discomfort that the victim may go through in specific situations or reminders after the accident
Multiplier for Monetary Value
Texas courts use a basic multiplier to estimate the monetary value of pain and suffering. The multiplier ranges between one and five, where one represents the least amount of pain and suffering, while five represents the maximum. The courts will choose the most appropriate multiplier and apply it along with the costs occurring from specific damages. Let us assume your Texas personal injury case is worth $25,000 in specific damages, and the court determines a multiple of four for the pain and suffering occurring due to transient brain damage. The court in Texas will multiple your specific damages by four, whereby your damages for pain and suffering will come to $100,000.
However, this is only a general legal framework to calculate pain and suffering in Texas courts.
In Texas, there is no cap or upper limit on the amount of non-economic damages you can recover in a personal injury case. You are free to pursue larger personal injury compensation in your individual case. If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t fall for flashy gimmicks. Contact Texas’ premier personal injury law firm. Call Thomas J. Henry today at 361-221-5053.