Skip to Content

How is pain and suffering calculated?


Being involved in a car accident leaves not only physical scars but also emotional ones. While the physical ones may appear to be healing, the emotional ones often take longer to recover from and may require some assistance to come to terms with. But with medical expenses and property damage bills piling up as a result of the accident, not many Texas residents consider getting their emotional well-being sorted out after a crash. This is where pursuing a personal injury claim against the negligent driver may be helpful.

When an accident victim is awarded damages as a result of their successful claim, they may be awarded damages of two types: special damages and general damages. Special damages are easily calculated, as they are related to a specific economic harm, such as loss of wages due to missed work, medical expenses and property damage. Getting the evidence to support a claim for special damages is relatively easy.

General damages, on the other hand, can often be trickier to prove. General damages are noneconomic damages, for example, pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of reputation, loss of enjoyment of life, emotional distress and loss of companionship. These are all very serious types of damages an accident victim suffers after a crash, but they are often accompanied by very little physical evidence that allows others to figure out how much one is suffering. It is also very subjective — it differs from person to person, which is why there are very little guidelines as to how to calculate them.

Some of the factors the court does look at includes the severity of the injury, recovery time needed, potential for ongoing consequences and the amount claimed in special damages. There are also other factors that can be introduced to demonstrate the pain and suffering one has gone through. A personal injury attorney can provide guidance on how to proceed.