Compensation for the Two Kinds of Pain and Suffering in Texas
- November 11, 2014
- Personal Injury
In the realm of personal injury law, there are many different forms of damages that a person can seek from the defendant. Of course, the injured party is going to seek compensation for any economic losses that they may have suffered as the result of the accident, but the individual may also be entitled to different forms of non-economic damages. Damages that are related to pain and suffering can be one type of non-economic loss that a personal injury attorney in Dallas can help you to seek compensation for.
In the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, non-economic damages are defined as follows: damages awarded for the purpose of compensating a claimant for physical pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain or anguish, loss of consortium, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of companionship and society, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages.
The Two Kinds of Pain and Suffering in Texas
As it is concerned to pain and suffering, the legal code is, for the most part, referring to two kinds of pain and suffering. Those that are related to physical injuries and those that are from mental anguish. The compensation is not only intended to account for the pain and suffering that the individual has had to endure to date, but also the pain and suffering that may extend into the future.
Demonstrating and valuing non-economic losses like pain and suffering is a little less straightforward than it is with economic losses. With the economic losses, the plaintiff can very easily show the expenses that went into treating the injuries, the medical records that show proof of the injuries and records that demonstrate their inability to work and earn a living. With non-economic losses, some of the proof may come from the same places, but it has to be considered in a different light.
In a lot of ways, the proof of non-economic damages is the claimant. Medical records and other forms of documentation will help to show that the individual is in pain, but the plaintiff will often have to articulate how they have suffered and how it has affected their life. Factors like depression, the inability to engage in activities that you once enjoyed and a reduction in the quality of life are all things of a non-economic nature that a plaintiff could seek compensation for.
Valuing Pain and Suffering
When it comes to valuing what these damages are worth, there are no hard rules for compensation in regard to pain and suffering. A common concept used to determine the value of these damages is the “multiplier” rule. With this concept, the economic damages are used as a baseline for determining the value of non-economic damages with the value being set as some multiple of the value of the economic damages.
While the loss may not be financial or material, pain and suffering is a very real form of loss. The problem is that it is very hard to obtain fair compensation for this type of loss. A claimant’s ability to get adequate compensation for non-economic losses will be largely dependent on the quality of their representation.