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  • Writer's pictureRobert Schuerger

Insider Secrets: How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Texas?

Pain and suffering is a key component when calculating the value of personal injury claims. It is crucial for accident victims in Texas to understand how to calculate it when pursuing compensation for their injuries.

The trial attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah have extensive experience handling personal injury cases in Houston. They are ready to represent clients and help them navigate the complexities associated with calculating pain and suffering.


Understanding Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Claims

Understanding Pain and Suffering in Personal Injury Claims


In the legal world, the terminology "pain and suffering" pertains to emotional distress and physical pain that the victims experience after sustaining injuries in an accident caused by another's negligence.


If a person breaks a leg in a car accident, for example, they may feel intense pain followed by emotional suffering arising from their inability to carry out their work or drive their kids to school.


Pain and suffering is essential in determining the compensation awarded to victims in Texas. Here are the critical things injured parties in Houston must know before addressing the question, "How is pain and suffering calculated in Texas?"


The Components of Pain and Suffering


Pain and suffering is a subjective loss that goes beyond measurable economic losses such as medical expenses and lost wages.


It includes discomfort, physical pain, emotional distress, mental anguish, and reduced quality of life resulting from an injury or accident.


Under Texas law, non-economic damages are crucial when evaluating the harm suffered by the victim. In some personal injury cases, the economic damages may not be as great as the emotional suffering endured by the victim. This makes it essential to evaluate the claim properly to ensure fair pain and suffering compensation.


The Types of Non-economic Damages


In Texas, non-economic damages include various types of pain and suffering, such as:

  • Physical pain

  • Loss of consortium

  • Mental anguish

  • Reduced quality of life

  • Discomfort

  • Physical impairment

  • Disfigurement

Under these categories, there are many different types of pain and suffering. Some examples of mental anguish include post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, mental trauma, scarring, and stress or depression.


The Submission and Consideration of Non-Economic Damages


Proving pain and suffering damages can be challenging since it is subjective. The plaintiff has the burden of proof and must build a compelling case before submitting it to the relevant party.


To present a claim for non-economic damages, the injured victims must provide evidence supporting each element. An experienced attorney can use past Texas personal injury cases and expert testimonies to help assess the value of the damages incurred.


The Factors Impacting the Value of Pain and Suffering Damages


There are many different factors that influence the value of pain and suffering damages in a personal injury lawsuit. These can vary from one case to another.


The top-rated personal injury attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah law firm consider the following when calculating non-economic damages:

  • Sworn testimony from the treating physicians.

  • The type and severity of injuries sustained by the victim.

  • Objective findings in medical records that document the extent of the injuries.

  • The length of the recovery period and the need for surgical intervention.

  • How much insurance coverage does the other party have?

  • What are the liability circumstances?

  • Was the plaintiff partially responsible (comparative negligence)?

The abovementioned factors can significantly influence the value assigned to pain and suffering in Texas.

It is crucial for accident victims to reach out to Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys to understand the types of damages involved in their case and their potential value.


Maximizing the Damages in Texas Personal Injury Cases


Seeking prompt medical care and diligently following the doctor's recommendations are crucial to maximizing damages in a personal injury case.


Insurance adjusters may take advantage of injured victims who are seeking quick settlements. Before negotiating fair compensation, it is essential to understand the full extent of the injuries and the potential long-term impact on one's physical and emotional well-being.


To maximize damages in a personal injury case in Texas, it is crucial to contact a skilled attorney. The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah law firm has extensive experience in guiding accident victims on the steps to ensure maximum compensation.


What Are the Factors That Influence the Pain and Suffering Calculations?


There are several factors that affect the value of pain and suffering following an accident in Texas, and these include the following:


The Nature of the Injuries


The nature of the injuries sustained by the victim substantially influences the calculation of pain and suffering damages.


In personal injury cases involving severe injuries, such as traumatic brain injuries or spinal cord injuries, the victim may receive a higher compensation due to the greater physical pain and emotional suffering they are experiencing.


The long-lasting effects of such injuries and the resulting impact on the victim's quality of life play a crucial role in assigning a value to the pain and suffering.


Testimonies from the Medical Experts


Getting testimonies from the treating physicians is essential to determine the extent of pain and suffering. It can let the jury or the insurance company understand the nature of injuries sustained and their impact on the victim's life.


To support their assessment of the pain and suffering damages, they may compile diagnostic tests, treatment plans, and medication prescriptions.


The Duration of the Recovery Period


The duration of the recovery period and whether or not the injuries sustained are permanent greatly influence the value of the pain and suffering damages.


If the victim's injuries require extensive medical treatment, rehabilitation, or ongoing care, the compensation for pain and suffering will most likely be higher.


Also, injuries resulting in long-term or permanent physical impairments can significantly impact the victim's quality of life, leading to higher pain and suffering damages.


On the other hand, if the injured party suffers a minor injury, it may lead to a lower settlement amount.


The Extent of Medical Care


If the victim needs surgical treatment, it can affect the value of the pain and suffering damages. Surgeries, especially those involving invasive procedures, often result in heightened physical pain and emotional distress. This can adversely impact the injured party's life.


An experienced attorney can bring on medical experts on board who can help assess the impact of the surgery on the victim's life. It can provide valuable insights into the compensation the injured party deserves.


How Much Insurance Coverage Is Available?


Some insurance policies may have specific limits on non-economic damages, including pain and suffering. This can play a crucial role in determining how much an accident victim can recover.


If the available coverage is insufficient to compensate the injured party fully, it can affect the final settlement or verdict amount.


Although limited insurance coverage affects the ability to recover maximum compensation, an experienced personal injury attorney can use other strategies to ensure that the victim is "whole" again.


What Are the Liability Circumstances?


The circumstances surrounding liability in a personal injury case can impact the calculation of pain and suffering damages.


Cases involving clear instances of negligence, such as drunk driving accidents or other reckless behaviors, often result in higher compensation for pain and suffering.


The level of fault attributed to the defendant and the severity of their actions can influence the jury's decision pertaining to the damages.


Was the Plaintiff Partially Responsible?


Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule which means that the recoverable damages may be reduced accordingly if the plaintiff is found partially responsible for the accident.


The extent to which the plaintiff's actions contributed to the accident can affect the compensation awarded for pain and suffering. An experienced attorney can gather evidence to prove the defendant's degree of fault and ensure a maximum settlement for the injured party.


By considering these factors and their implications, accident victims can gain a better understanding of calculating pain and suffering damages in Texas personal injury cases.


How Can the Injured Victims Calculate Pain and Suffering in Texas?


Although many accident victims prefer using the pain and suffering calculator available online, it is essential to note that it can often result in an undervalued settlement amount. It's best for an injured party to work with an experienced attorney to help assess the value of their personal injury claim.


Insurance companies use several methods when determining compensation for pain and suffering, and these include the following:


The Multiplier Method


This is the most common way insurers calculate the pain and suffering damages in a personal injury case.

Under this approach, the insurance company multiplies the total economic damages, such as medical expenses and lost wages, by a specific multiplier. This multiplier typically ranges from one to five, depending on the duration of the recovery period and other relevant factors.


A low multiplier refers to minor injuries (such as soft tissue injuries) that do not require extensive treatments, while insurance companies allocate a higher multiplier for severe or life-threatening harm.


Here is an example of how this might work:


John suffers an injury in an accident and the total economic damages of around $50,000. He decides to pursue a claim against the negligent party. During negotiations, both parties agree to assign a 3x multiplier to the case.


In this situation, John may receive $200,000 (including $150,000 for non-economic damages) in compensation for the physical and emotional injuries sustained following the accident.


The Per Diem Method


Another method commonly utilized by insurance companies when calculating pain and suffering is the per diem method.


This approach assigns a specific daily rate to the victim's emotional distress, which is typically based on the average daily cost of medical treatment or the victim's daily income.


After calculating the daily rate, the insurer multiplies it by the estimated number of days the injured party will experience pain and suffering. The resulting sum is the compensation the insurance company needs to pay. Here is an example of how this method works:


John suffers an injury that requires an entire year (365 days) to recover. Both parties decide on using the per diem method with a daily rate of $1000 for non-economic damages.


In this situation, John will receive $365,000 from the insurance company for their pain and suffering, plus the actual economic damages incurred following the incident.


It is important to note that the specific method used to calculate pain and suffering damages can vary depending on the unique circumstances of each case.


Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys diligently analyze the details of their clients' cases to determine the most appropriate method for calculating pain and suffering damages to ensure maximum compensation.


Is There a Cap on Pain and Suffering in Texas?


Under Texas law, there is no cap on non-economic damages unless in medical malpractice cases or claims against the government.


Injured victims can recover medical bills and lost wages in medical malpractice cases without any restrictions. However, there is a $250,000 limit on the non-economic damages they can obtain following the incident.


How to Prove Pain and Suffering in Texas Courts


Pain and suffering is subjective and can vary from one person to another. It is crucial for injured victims to successfully prove it in Texas courts to obtain fair compensation for the damages incurred.


Attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah law firm possess the knowledge and expertise necessary to present and substantiate pain and suffering claims. They incorporate many different approaches to prove these damages, some of which include the following:


Arranging a Witness Testimony


Witness testimony is one of the best ways accident victims can prove their pain and suffering. Any individual (mother, father, or other members of the family and friends) who has witnessed the plaintiff's suffering can provide firsthand accounts of how the accident has continued to affect their life.


It can help establish the extent of pain and suffering endured by the victim, adding credibility and strength to the personal injury case.


Collecting Substantial Medical Evidence


Gathering medical evidence is vital in establishing pain and suffering in personal injury claims. Doctors and other medical providers can provide testimony that serves as an expert opinion regarding the injuries, the extent of the pain, and the expected recovery process.


These medical professionals can help explain the long-term effects of the injury, the required treatments, and the associated pain and suffering. Specialized experts like life care planners can also testify to future medical needs and the ongoing impact on the victim's quality of life.


Compiling Enough Visual Evidence


Photographs and videos can help illustrate the extent of pain and suffering the victim is experiencing. Pictures that show visible injuries, scars, or physical limitations and videos that provide a detailed portrayal of the victim's daily challenges can offer a comprehensive understanding of what they're going through following the accident.


Giving a Plaintiff's Testimony


The victim's firsthand account of their experience, the physical and emotional pain endured, and the struggles of their daily life can provide powerful evidence.


When supported by medical records, expert testimonies, and witness accounts, the plaintiff's testimony strengthens the personal injury case and enhances the credibility of their pain and suffering claims.


The legal team at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys understands the importance of effectively presenting these methods of proof in Texas courts. With their extensive experience in personal injury litigation, they can convey the victim's story in a compelling way, increasing their chances of securing maximum compensation.


It is important to note that navigating the legal process and effectively proving pain and suffering can be complex. Consulting with experienced trial attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah law firm is crucial to ensure proper documentation and evidence.


How Can Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Help Injured Victims in Houston, Texas?

How Can Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Help Injured Victims in Houston, Texas?


Claims adjusters use different software, such as Claims Outcome Advisor, Colossus, or Mitchell, to calculate pain and suffering. They input injury codes, billing details, and other information that the program uses to determine the settlement range. To minimize payouts, insurance companies often reduce the reported medical bills.


Due to their unfamiliarity with how the pain and suffering calculator works, most accident victims often accept low settlement amounts. However, Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can gather relevant evidence and introduce new information to the insurer, which can potentially increase the value of the personal injury case.


One advantage of working with the firm is that they consist of Houston injury attorneys with previous experience working for insurance companies. They possess knowledge of insider secrets and use it to their client's advantage, ensuring they receive the best legal representation in Houston, Texas.


Schedule a Free Consultation with Personal Injury Attorneys at Schuerger Shunnarah


There are numerous challenges that injured victims in Houston, Texas, face when pursuing personal injury claims. One of the greatest obstacles they must overcome is dealing with the insurance company and fighting for the compensation they deserve. This includes evaluating the damages and providing proof.

Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys has the expertise and experience necessary to navigate the complexities of pain and suffering calculations in Texas. They can answer questions like, "How long do most personal injury cases take?"


The team can assist in examining the various factors that influence the value of pain and suffering in a personal injury claim and build a compelling case to ensure maximum compensation.


Individuals suffering from injuries should call for a free consultation with experienced trial attorneys to discuss their cases. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys have a reputation for aggressive litigation and going to war against insurance companies.

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