If you were hurt in a Texas accident and you file a claim against the person (company, people, etc.) who caused it, you're entitled to different kinds of compensation.
Texas courts most commonly award injured people money for:
- Medical expenses (both past, present and future)
- Missed work days or loss of income
- Property damage
- "Pain and suffering"
But what does "pain and suffering" include? And how can you recover it?
Pain and Suffering Defined
Pain and suffering is the mental and physical harm caused after an accident. It includes things like the pain of a broken bone, but also more abstract suffering like depression, the potential shortening of a life, embarrassment from scarring and anxiety.
When you receive money for "pain and suffering" after an accident, it's meant to compensate you for the emotional and mental distress you were forced to endure. It's for people like Jordan, the 7-year-old boy who was attacked by a dog and even now, years later, is afraid to play outside. It's for people like Maggie, a college student who suffered serious scars on her arm and back that now make her extremely self-conscious. Or for people like Amy, a 34-year-old working mom who broke her leg in a car accident and was forced to miss all of her daughter's gymnastic meets.
While forms of compensation are based on clearly definable dollar amounts, a number of them are by definition intangible. Unfortunately, for this reason it's the most difficult money to recover in a claim. If you're looking to recover compensation for pain and suffering, I urge you to consult a personal injury attorney. The initial consultation should be free.
- Not sure if your case needs an attorney? Read my article, How Do I Know If I Need an Attorney?
How Much Is Your Pain and Suffering Worth?
First, do you have a lawyer?
Hiring a lawyer increases the value of your case, and that's before the lawyer actually works on your behalf. This all has to do with insurance adjusters. If you approach an insurance adjuster on your own, they might think they can give you a low offer to cover your pain and suffering and you - knowing no better - will accept.
When you have a lawyer on your side, however, insurance adjusters don't bother with this tactic. They know that an experienced attorney will call them out for an unfair offer and will fight to win their client exactly what they deserve.
Second, how much evidence do you have?
You need evidence that shows how the accident has caused you to suffer. If you have an attorney, they will do this for you, but if you're going it alone you'll need to think hard about how to best convey your position. You cannot simply just claim "this wreck caused me pain and suffering." You have to prove it.
Auto insurance companies are notoriously tricky when it comes to paying claims. It's no surprise why, either. Depending on the at-fault motorist’s policy, insurance companies stand to lose as much as $100,000 per accident victim. Just like any company, insurance companies want to mitigate losses and increase profits, and they consider claims a loss. Insurance adjusters are always going to try to pay as little money as possible in compensation.
Learn more here: How Much Evidence Do You Need to Prove Fault?
"How Much Is My Specific Case Worth?"
It's a question I get a lot and there's no straightforward answer, but here are a few questions intended to help. Think about your answers carefully. Do you have strong answers? Do you have the evidence to back up your answers?
- What was the most painful moment during the accident or in the immediate aftermath?
- Did any of the necessary medical treatment you received for your injuries cause you pain?
- Do you still regularly experience pain as a result of your injuries?
- Does your doctor expect this pain to remain in the long term?
- Were any pre-existing medical conditions aggravated as a result of your accident injuries?
- How has the trauma of being injured affected you?
- What significant events did you missed out because you were injured?
- How will your injuries affect your quality of life going forwards?
- Does your current pain level prevent you from doing things you would normally have had no problem with before the accident?
- Are you uncomfortable or afraid to put yourself into certain situations following your accident?
The stronger your answers to these questions, the more money your case is worth.
For a more detailed look into the value of your claim, check out my article How Much Is My Case Worth?
To get a better idea, you can also talk to a board certified personal injury and wrongful death attorney today to discuss the full and fair compensation you deserve.
Do You Really Need a Lawyer?
Not everyone needs a lawyer. However, if you're unsure I'll point you toward my article: How Do I Know If I Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Need a Dallas-Fort Worth pain and suffering lawyer? Contact our firm today!
At the Anderson Law Firm our attorneys and legal team have years of experience in fighting for the rights of victims of car accidents. We know the process can be confusing and frustrating, which is why we handle the entire legal work so you can recover. If you or a loved one were injured in a car accident, please feel free and contact our law firm today to schedule a free, no obligation consultation where we can discuss your potential case. Call the Anderson Law Firm today at 817-717-4731!
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