Negative effects of a car accident are normally called damages, and there are many different types. One type of damages that you may have sustained during and after a car accident is pain and suffering.
If you’ve been in a car accident as a result of someone else’s negligent actions, you may be due compensation for the expenses and injuries you suffered because of the ordeal, something that a dedicated Houston car accident attorney like the ones at Lapeze & Johns can help you within the civil court.
What Is “Pain and Suffering”?
“Pain and suffering” is a common legal phrase used to mean certain intangible personal losses a person might suffer. This includes things that are physically painful or emotionally injurious.
The Texas judicial system recognizes the impact these sorts of losses can have on those who face them, and citizens have the right to seek compensation. Damages that fall under the category of “pain and suffering” include the following:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder and other psychological trauma
- Grief, emotional distress, or mental anguish
- Physical pain and discomfort including chronic pain
- Permanent impairment of a bodily function
- Permanent scarring, disfigurement, or disabilities
- Loss of relationships
- Embarrassment and humiliation
- Reduced quality or enjoyment of life
- Anxiety and depression
The monetary compensation available for pain and suffering damages depends on the severity of those damages. A court may take into account factors such as the nature and severity of the injuries you sustained, the impact those injuries will have on your life and family, your health prior to the damaging accident, your age, and your income level.
While it is possible to file a suit seeking pain and suffering damages alone, most cases involve economic losses such as medical bills or lost wages.
Two Ways the Court Determines Pain and Suffering Damages
1. The Multiplier Method
The multiplier method relies on the number of economic damages a person suffers to estimate the severity of their pain and suffering. To do this, the courts will combine your medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and any other economic losses.
That amount is then multiplied by a figure between 1.5 and 5 as determined by the court or granting party. The multiplier is usually chosen based on the apparent severity of the injuries you suffered.
2. The Per Diem Method
The per diem method is quite distinct from the multiplier method. A per diem award is found by calculating a daily dollar amount a person is to receive while they heal. This amount is often figured based on the amount that a person would have been earning if they hadn’t been injured. This daily amount is then paid to the injured party until they are fully healed or as medically improved as they are expected to be.
This method of payment is most commonly used when there is an estimated date for recovery. The multiplier method, in contrast, is usually used for cases involving long-term injuries.
Lapeze & Johns: Houston Car Accident Attorneys Helping You Seek Damages for Your Car Crash
As you can see, the process for deciding pain and suffering damages isn’t set in stone. It’s possible that a strong representation of the suffering you endured or are enduring could influence the court’s decision.
We recommend you seek the assistance of a dedicated Houston car accident attorney like the team at Lapeze & Johns to help you seek the compensation you need to properly recover from such a traumatic event.