What Does Pain and Suffering Mean In a Personal Injury Claim?
In personal injury claims, pain and suffering seems sort of cut and dry, because the words define the concept, and anyone can understand that victims should receive compensation for what they have suffered as the result of another person’s negligence.
But how is pain and suffering quantified in a personal injury claim, and what types of damages are eligible under this legal term?
The Damages In a Personal Injury Claim That Factor Into Pain and Suffering
So what are the types of damages that are taken into account with pain and suffering?
Typically, personal injury claims have two types of damages, including:
- Special Damages – These are damages that are easily quantifiable, such as loss of income from missing work, damage to a vehicle, and medical bills.
- General Damages – These are damages that are not easy to quantify, and are often referred to as non-economic damages. They include mental distress, loss of reputation, loss of companionship, emotional anguish, physical impairment, and a decrease in life expectancy.
When a claimant asks for pain and suffering in a personal injury claim, compensation for general damages are usually what they are asking for, which makes these damages very subjective.
But there are some common factors that are taken into account to determine pain and suffering, including:
- Injury Severity
- Severity of Disfigurement Or Physical Impairment
- Time Needed To Recover
- Long-Term Consequences of Injury
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Every state places caps on the damages that claimants can receive for pain and suffering. In Texas, for example, you are limited to $100,000 for pain and suffering damages in most claims, with the exception of medical malpractice claims and claims against the government, which are capped at $250,000.
And in most states – including Texas – there is a statute of limitation, which means that you must file your claim for pain and suffering within a specific period of time or you can’t recover any damages.
Because pain and suffering is so subjective, it often takes an experienced personal injury attorney to understand how insurance companies view pain and suffering demands.
For example, some insurance companies use the multiplier method to calculate pain and suffering, which means multiplying the amount of a claimant’s special damages by a factor between two and five.
Other insurers pay pain and suffering by assigning a daily amount from the time of the accident to the time the claimant recovered. And increasingly, many insurers are using computer algorithms to determine what they are willing to pay.
Why You Need An Experienced Personal Injury Attorney
It can take months or years for you to recover from a car or truck accident, and even when you feel physically well, there are often psychological consequences that can take years to overcome. That’s why pain and suffering is so important in personal injury claims, because victims deserve to be compensated for their physical and emotional pain.
Elissa I. Henry Law Firm, PLLC, has the resources, the experience, and the investment in a favorable outcome that are essential for success in personal injury claims. We are committed to seeking and obtaining fair compensation for injuries that can affect a victim for years to come. Please contact us today to schedule a consultation.