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Houston Personal Injury Lawyer > Blog > Auto Accidents > What is Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?

What is Pain and Suffering in a Car Accident?


When you think of car accident damages, you may think of broken bones, head injuries, and lacerations. You may think of damage to your vehicle. But there are also damages that are not so apparent, such as pain and suffering.

If you have suffered from a serious injury in a car accident, then you will want to file a claim for pain and suffering. Pain and suffering refers to physical and mental discomfort you experience after a crash.

Physical discomfort may refer to:

  • Neck and back pain
  • Muscle pain
  • Headaches
  • Pain from broken bones

There is also mental discomfort, which may include:

  • Cognitive changes from a brain injury
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Diminished quality of life

However, pain and suffering is considered to be a non-economic damage, since it is hard to put a dollar value on it. Insurance companies do have a couple methods they use to determine the monetary value of these damages: multiplier and per diem methods. The multiplier method involves multiplying economic damages by a set number (between 1.5 and 5) in order to estimate pain and suffering damages. The per diem method involves paying a set rate for each day that pain endures. Usually, it is based on your daily wages.

However, if you file a lawsuit and it goes to court, your compensation for pain and suffering will be determined by a judge or jury. The amount you receive may be arbitrary and based on other factors.

Proving Pain and Suffering

In order to maximize your compensation for pain and suffering, you need proof. Nobody can tell how you feel just by looking at you. You will need evidence such as:

  • Medical records. Medical records can be good evidence of your physical injuries. The more severely you are injured, the more likely you are to receive a high amount of compensation for pain and suffering.
  • Expert testimony. Testimony from a doctor can show how much pain you are in and help prove your case.
  • Photos of your injuries can be good evidence of the pain you are experiencing. However, internal injuries and broken bones may be hard to show without X-rays and other tests.
  • A personal diary that you use to document your pain and injuries can be helpful in a car accident case. Just be sure to be specific. Is your pain getting better or worse? Are you experiencing any new pain elsewhere? Be sure to rate your pain on a scale of 1-10 as well.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer 

Car accidents can result in a lot of damages, and pain and suffering is one of them. However, these damages are hard to quantify, so you need a lot of evidence.

Make sure you get full and fair compensation after a car crash. A Houston car accident attorney from The West Law Office, PLLC can guide you through the process. To schedule a free consultation, call 281-347-3247 or fill out the online form.



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