Midland & Odessa Personal Injury Attorneys
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How Pain & Suffering Damages are Calculated

Imagine that you are in a trucking accident while traveling across Texas. You suffer a broken leg and a broken arm, and your vehicle is totaled. The hospital charges you $25,000 for treatment until you can be safely released and your vehicle could have fetched $25,000 if you sold it the day before the crash. You also took 6 months to fully recover and lost another $25,000 worth of wages you should have been earning.

When you go to create a lawsuit against the trucking company that caused the accident, your economic damages are pretty simple to calculate. Just add together your medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages to figure it out. In this scenario, you should get at least $75,000.

But economic damages don’t do anything to put compensation into your own pocket. All they do is put you back where you should’ve been had you never been hurt in the first place. They also don’t account for two of the most troubling after-effects of an accident: pain and suffering.

Nominal Damages: How to Calculate Them

In nearly all personal injury claims, the plaintiff is given the opportunity to request “nominal damages” alongside economic damages. In simple terms, nominal damages are monetary amounts awarded to the plaintiff in regards to any mental trauma and emotional anguish they suffered due to their accident. This is already a very subjective topic. Some people can step on a nail and not flinch, and others squirm with pain just from nipping their cuticle. So how can pain and suffering be represented in a clear monetary value if it is wholly up for interpretation?

For the most part, it can’t be. When a person makes a personal injury claim and wants nominal damages – remembering that economic damages will only help them return to normal life, not necessarily help them recover further or find peace of mind – they can, more or less, determine their own nominal damage amount they would like to be awarded. A careful balancing act thus begins, as asking for too little could leave a plaintiff feeling cheated but demanding too much could make a judge dismiss it as unreasonable.

At Dean Law Firm in West Texas, we can help you with your personal injury claim and calculate a nominal damages amount that considers your needs and uphold your best interests. We can analyze your medical bills and compare your case to previous examples in the past to determine a fair amount of compensation. Call 432.214.8125 today or contact our Midland-Odessa personal injury attorney online, and we will get back to you as soon as possible to schedule a free case review.