How much you might recover for pain and suffering after a car accident in Texas depends on several factors. After the personal injury lawyers at D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, conduct a full investigation into your case, we can offer you an estimate for your pain and suffering. The amount you receive depends heavily on how the insurance company or the jury views your case. We can give you a possible range after our investigation, but your final settlement might change during the negotiation process.
We can help you understand what factors play a role in determining your pain and suffering damages, and how insurance companies come up with what they believe is a fair total for these non-economic losses. We offer free initial consultations, where we can discuss your case in more detail. Call (713) 850-8600 for your free case evaluation.
How Much Is My Case Worth?
This is often one of the first questions we hear from our clients. Unfortunately, there is no way to know for sure. This is because every car accident case is different, and the payout depends on:
- Identifying all related injuries, losses, and expenses (known as damages)
- Collecting documentation of these damages
- Calculating the cost of your economic damages
- Calculating your non-economic damages
- Negotiating a fair settlement with the insurance company or obtaining an award from the court in a personal injury lawsuit
After we complete our investigation, we can total the receipts and bills we collect to show you your economic losses. However, it is much more difficult to put a value on the non-economic damages. There are several ways we can calculate pain and suffering and other general damages, and this may vary based on the facts of your case. In general, you can expect pain and suffering to comprise a large portion of your total settlement.
Which Factors Can Increase My Pain and Suffering Damages?
The purpose of pain and suffering damages is to reimburse you for the emotional and psychological traumas you experienced because of the accident. Some of the factors that may increase your financial recovery include:
- Suffering documented physical pain, or a painful injury
- The length of your hospital stay and whether you required rehabilitation
- Whether you experienced emotional trauma because of permanent impairment or another serious injury
- Whether you are experiencing ongoing psychological effects, such as anxiety and depression
The severity of your injury and whether you suffer from a disability or any lasting damage are essential factors for calculating pain and suffering damages. Even when an insurance company uses a computer to calculate your damages, it considers the nature and severity of your injuries.
For example, a person who suffers serious burns and has permanent scarring on their face and hands will generally receive significantly more in non-economic damages than an accident victim who suffers a broken arm that heals completely in a few months.
If your case goes to court, this effect may be even more dramatic. Instead of a computer making the call, the judge or jury will determine the amount of pain and suffering they believe you experienced based on the facts we present to them. We will attempt to present your case in a way that promotes empathy for your situation.
How Do I Recover My Pain And Suffering Damages?
We typically send a demand letter to the insurance company outlining our case for a payout for your economic losses and pain and suffering. The insurance company, of course, wants to pay out as little as possible. Most insurers tend to respond with a counteroffer well below our range.
While we must reject this unfair offer, it allows us to begin settlement negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurer. In most cases, we can reach an agreement that includes a fair amount for your pain and suffering damages. If the insurance company refuses, we are not afraid to litigate the case and ask the court to award you a fair recovery.
What Other Forms of Financial Recovery Are Available After a Car Accident?
Pain and suffering is not the only form of financial recovery you could seek after a crash. You could qualify for several forms of financial damages, such as:
- Medical bills: This could include any reasonably necessary treatment required for your injuries, such as emergency room care, surgeries, medications, visits to a doctor or chiropractor, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and more.
- Lost wages: Whether you missed several paychecks or had to be out of work for several months, you could seek damages. This could include missed tips or bonuses.
- Reduced earning capacity: Some injuries leave you unable to go back to work in your former capacity. You could seek damages for the difference between your past and current income.
Again, an attorney from our team will seek the highest possible recovery available to you in these categories.
How Can I Prepare My Case for Pain and Suffering Damages in Texas?
To ensure you have the best possible chance of making a recovery for pain and suffering damages, consider the following steps:
Get Medical Attention
Getting medical care for your injuries is one of the most important things you can do for your case.
After you get needed emergency care, continue following any advised course of treatment issued by your doctor. Doing so will document that your injuries were serious. It will also show that you did not unnecessarily worsen your original injuries by neglecting your care.
Insurance companies will often attempt to limit your settlement by pointing to your health history. Showing up to your follow-up appointments, taking prescribed medications, and getting the rest your doctor recommends can protect your case.
Know You don’t Have to Accept the First Offer
If you receive an offer from the insurance company soon after the collision, know that you aren’t obligated to accept it. If you hire a lawyer from our team, we can explain what your case could be worth and help you negotiate a fair settlement.
Should you accept an early settlement offer and then later realize that your settlement wasn’t sufficient to cover your losses, you won’t be able to seek an additional recovery. Once you accept an offer, you will not be able to reopen your case again at a later time.
Be Careful About What You Say
If you speak to insurance adjusters, be mindful of what you say. They may attempt to get you to make statements that could affect your case for pain and suffering damages.
For instance, they may call you and ask how you’re doing. If you say, “I’m fine,” this otherwise neutral statement could become significant for your case. The insurance company could use this as an admission that your injuries and pain are not serious.
Also, be careful about what you post on social media following the accident. It is best to avoid social media in the aftermath of an accident, even if you normally turn to these platforms to connect with friends. Again, the insurance company could use your posts as evidence to harm your case.
Act Promptly For Your Case
The Texas law only gives us two years from the date of your car accident to file a lawsuit, so it is important to contact us quickly. If you do not take action for your case within this timeframe, you could be barred from pursuing a settlement or court award—even if you have a strong case.
There are other reasons to get started on your case sooner rather than later. By acting promptly, you can:
- Capture time-sensitive evidence, such as eyewitness statements
- Give your legal team time to build a compelling case
Work With Our Lawyers
At D. Miller & Associates, PLLC™, our attorneys can fight for you to recover your economic and non-economic losses after a car accident. Call our office today for a free case evaluation and consultation.
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