How Much do You Get for Pain and Suffering in a Houston Car Accident?
In the aftermath of an accident, you will likely face many questions and challenges. How long will it take for you to return to full physical health? Who will pay for your damaged car and have it repaired so you can get back to work? Who can you turn to if you need help understanding intricate auto laws and insurance policies or need help with filing a claim?
In addition to all of the above, one of the biggest concerns that victims of car accidents have is whether or not they will be compensated for the pain and suffering they were made to endure by a negligent third-party responsible for the accident. This is especially true for cases that require expensive medical treatment, such as brain injuries or spinal cord damage.
According to the National Highway Transport Safety Administration (NHTSA), insurance payouts in 2016 civil cases ranged from between $25,000 and $10,000,000. Depending on the nature of your accident, the damages sustained therein, and the overall impact of the accident on your life, your claim will likely fall in the same range.
A harsh reality of medical care is that it is prohibitively expensive, and motor vehicle accidents represent 99% of non-fatal transportation injuries and 94% of transport-related deaths every year. These facts stress the importance of having professional legal counsel on your side should you be faced with pain and suffering, medical bills, and other accident-related damages that were not your fault.
The Different Types of Damages
In general, most states, including Texas, classify damages as either general damages or special damages.
Special damages are those that can be easily quantified. They include:
- Car repair costs
- The costs of medical tests or procedures for personal injuries or for burial and funeral expenses in case of a fatal car accident
- Earnings lost as a result of being away from work for a specific period of time
- Money spent on rentals, caregivers, or other services you had to pay for while injured
General damages include non-economic or non-quantifiable costs. They include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
What is clear is that special damages are somewhat easier to claim because they can be quantified using medical bills, car repair invoices, and the like. General damages – including pain and suffering – are harder to put a number on and can vary widely depending on the unique circumstances of your case.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Texas uses a multiplier method for calculating pain and suffering costs. You need to come up with all the documentation needed to prove that you have indeed suffered after an accident, and the link between your pain and suffering and the accident needs to be established as well. Your lawyer can help you collect the evidence needed to establish these connections.
The way the multiplier works is a number is arrived at for your pain and suffering based on your age, special circumstances surrounding your accident, the type of work you used to do, and the extent of the damages you have sustained. Future lost earnings, a loss in the enjoyment of life, and other future losses will also be incorporated into the multiplier.
Keep in mind that the multiplier provides a rough estimate for what your losses are as a result of the accident; this is one of the reasons it is so broadly defined. That said, the range of pain and suffering payouts varies widely from case to case and client to client, so speak to your lawyer to learn more about the expected payout that victims in situations similar to yours can expect to win.
Remember: if you can produce documentation and proof of your pain, emotional trauma (for example, using the testimony of a licensed psychologist), and estimates of lost future earnings as calculated by economic projection experts will help you make a solid claim for all damages you’ve sustained in an accident.
How Our Team Will Help
Putting together a comprehensive documentation file, convincingly conveying the information therein to the court or insurance claims panel, and negotiating a fair settlement with your insurer are just some of the ways we can help you. In addition to keeping you on top of important filing deadlines, following up with your claim once it has been submitted, and helping you with everything from finding a reliable car repair shop to a trusted healthcare services provider are some of the other services we help our clients with so that they can concentrate on what matters most: getting better as soon as possible.
Talk to Our Pain and Suffering Lawyers Today
Contact us today at 713-677-2253 for help understanding and filing a claim for pain and suffering that result from a car accident. We will help you identify the parties that can be held liable for damages as well as the different pain and suffering costs that you can claim. We will also take charge of evidence collection, proving liability, and making sure all filing deadlines are met. Call now.
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