A car crash or other personal injury can affect your life in many ways. In addition to medical bills, lost income, and other financial losses, you might face a difficult recovery, uncertainty, permanent disfigurement, or other struggles. As part of your personal injury lawsuit, you can demand compensation for the pain and suffering you experience. In legal terms, pain and suffering is a type of “non-economic damage.”
Below, we’ll explain what that means and how Texas non-economic damages are calculated.
After a Personal Injury, You Can Demand Compensation for Different Types of Losses
In a Texas personal injury claim, you can demand three types of damages:
Specific financial losses associated with an injury, such a lost income, medical expenses, and the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property fall into the category of economic damages.
Damages that affect you and your lifestyle that don’t have a clear-cut financial value are considered “non-economic damages.” Examples include functional impairment, disfigurement, pain and mental anguish.
In some cases, it makes sense to seek additional damages that are meant to punish someone for intentional or incredibly reckless behavior. For example, in the case of Mulder v. Venture Transport that was tried by Tom Crosley, a San Antonio jury awarded $10 million in punitive damages to a brain injury victim, his wife and his children. These punitive damages were awarded because the trucking company and its driver deliberately falsified the driver’s log books so that he could drive more hours than the law allows, which led to driver fatigue resulting in the crash. The award was eventually reduced to $3.7 million, but the damages sent an important message.
Not every personal injury case involves all three types of damages, but a skilled personal injury lawyer at Crosley Law will always assess your eligibility for all potential compensation.
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For most people, economic damages are easy to understand. If you lost a specific amount of money because of an injury someone else caused, that adds up to an exact dollar amount. But you might have a claim for future lost income or lost income opportunities. These damages are more speculative and typically require assistance from a personal injury lawyer or an expert economist to calculate.
A crash or personal injury also impacts more than your finances. Non-economic damages are meant to compensate you for subjective losses, such as the fear, trauma, and pain that a serious crash or injury can cause. But how do you put a dollar value on losing joy in your life or being humiliated? How do you put a dollar value on changes to your relationship with your significant other? These types of damages and losses are harder to put a number on, but one of the qualified personal injury attorneys at Crosley Law can help you understand what damages you may be eligible for.
Most pain and suffering calculations depend on specific factors—some of which are out of your control.
Pain and Suffering Calculations Are Complicated and Nuanced
If everyone received “fair” compensation for their non-economic damages, there would probably be more multi-million-dollar personal injury verdicts. However, most pain and suffering calculations depend on specific factors—some of which are out of your control.
The value of your pain and suffering will depend on:
- The size of the negligent party’s insurance policy
- Whether you carried supplemental insurance coverage, such as personal injury protection and uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage if you are in a car crash
- The unique circumstances surrounding your injury
- The extent and severity of your injuries
- How your injuries impact your life and relationships
You might find online calculators that promise to compute your pain and suffering damages, but it’s virtually impossible to accurately calculate your potential pain and suffering in this way. Your case is unique and requires a detailed, personalized analysis. This is why most people rely on an experienced personal injury lawyer’s help.
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At Crosley Law, we take time to get to know our clients and their stories. Once we understand how your injuries changed your life, we’ll use this information to calculate your pain and suffering damages. If necessary, we’ll consult with experts like doctors, psychologists, and long-term care specialists who can help document and explain the extent of your non-economic damages.
Texas Sets Maximums on Some, But Not All, Non-Economic Damages
You should also be aware that Texas limits non-economic damages in certain types of personal injury claims. If you have a medical malpractice claim or a lawsuit against a government entity, you might face what is known as a “damage cap.” A cap is the maximum amount of compensation you can get in those cases.
Crosley Law: We Demand Justice for Crash Victims in San Antonio and Throughout Texas
The personal injury lawyers at Crosley Law have a single goal: helping you make the fullest and fairest recovery possible. If you’d like to learn more about our approach to personal injury claims, request a free case evaluation today. Simply complete our quick online form or call us at 210-LAW-3000 | 210-529-3000.
The content provided here is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice on any subject.