When you’ve been injured due to a car accident, slip-and-fall accident, dog bite, a medical malpractice case, by a defective product, or any other preventable injury, someone else’s negligence may be to blame. If someone else caused your accident by failing to take the measures that a reasonable person would have to prevent the injury under the same circumstances, they are responsible for your damages under the Texas comparative negligence insurance law.
Serious injuries quickly become expensive, with medical costs for emergency treatment, procedures, and therapies, plus the amount of income you lose from missed workdays during your recovery. In some cases, the injury could be disabling, making it more difficult to earn a living going forward.
While it’s relatively easy to calculate economic damages after an injury, it may be less clear to arrive at a monetary amount for intangible, non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
If you’ve experienced an injury in Texas, you may be wondering how your personal injury attorney and/or the insurance companies calculate damages for pain and suffering. Read on to learn more.
The Multiplier Method for Calculating Pain and Suffering in Texas
Most Texas personal injury claims include pain and suffering as a non-economic damage the victims suffers. While financial compensation cannot erase pain, it is the civil court’s only way of providing redress to victims who suffered harm directly due to someone else’s fault, either through their negligence, reckless behavior, or purposeful wrongdoing. An amount of compensation for pain and suffering provides financial benefits as well as achieving a sense of justice for victims.
Most pain and suffering claims in Texas use the multiplier method to calculate damages. Under the multiplier method, your attorney and/or the insurance company takes the amount they’ve determined for your economic damages and then multiply it by a number they choose on a scale between 1.5 and 5. They choose the number based on the severity of your injury, the long-term effects of the injury on your life, and whether or not you’ll make a full recovery.
If you’ve suffered an injury like a broken arm and will temporarily be unable to work but can expect a full recovery, they will multiply the amount of your economic damages by 1.5. However, if your arm was traumatically amputated in an accident and you’re permanently disabled and unable to return to your former career, the amount is multiplied by 5.
The multiplier method is an easy and reliable way to calculate an appropriate amount for pain and suffering. Often, an attorney will argue for the highest possible multiplier number while an insurance company argues for a lower number during negotiations for a settlement.
What is the Per-Diem Method of Calculating Pain and Suffering?
Another method sometimes used by juries in determining an amount of pain and suffering compensation is the per-diem method. This method uses a specific amount of money assigned per day and then multiplies it by the number of days an injury victim suffered pain before reaching their maximum level of medical improvement or recovery.
Under the per-diem method, a jury could decide you deserve $100 per day for your pain. If your injury took a full year to reach maximum recovery, you’d receive $35,000 in compensation for pain and suffering.
A skilled McKinney personal injury attorney usually aims for a method of calculating damages that maximizes the amount of compensation you receive. Only in medical malpractice cases does Texas cap the amount of compensation for pain and suffering a victim may receive at $250,000.