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Can I get compensation for pain and suffering after an accident?

Serious accidents can lead to serious injuries — but these can be more than just broken bones, head trauma and the like. These injuries can extend into other areas of our lives and lead to suffering that is hard to define.

Is it possible to hold the person responsible for the accident that caused physical injuries accountable for this other suffering? In some cases, the answer is yes. The legal world often refers to this suffering that extends beyond the physical injuries as “pain and suffering” in a civil lawsuit.

What exactly is pain and suffering?

The law defines pain and suffering as the distress that results from physical injuries after an accident. This can include limitations on activity as well as the potential shortening of one’s life span due to the injuries caused by an accident, reduced enjoyment of life, embarrassment from visible scars and depression.

A lawsuit refers to pain and suffering compensation as noneconomic damages. Economic damages, like lost wages and bills, are fairly easy to calculate. For lost wages, we could review previous compensation, for medical bills, we can look at the bills. Non-economic damages, like pain and suffering, require a different approach.

How do I get compensation for pain and suffering?

The exact process will vary depending on the state. In Texas, for example, the law generally requires the injured party specifically ask for pain and suffering damages. Without this intentional request, the victim may not get the pain and suffering award they deserve after an accident.

Texas also has a time limit on when a person can request pain and suffering and file a civil lawsuit for these types of cases. As a result, it is important to act promptly to better ensure your legal rights to compensation are protected.