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Are there any limitations to "Pain and Suffering?"

Houston, TX |

can a person sue for pain and suffering? what is required to do that? Wont they have to prove it? An example could be, but isnt limited to someone being in a car accident but isnt hurt at all, but maybe wants to say that. What can be done if sued with it?

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Thankfully we all have the right to sue and thankfully if someone is not injured they cannot collect for pain and suffering; as there is none. Your state has enacted some of the most archaic, inane, anathema and ridiculous laws. In large part this is due to former Governor George Bush. Hope this helps.

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Posted

You should check with a local attorney on this matter. In Massachusetts where I practice, there is cap on pain and suffering. A general rule is that the pain and suffering must be in reasonable proprtion to the nature and extent of injuries suffered. For example, a person may be slightly injured in a car accident and suffer what are called "soft tissue" injuries (i.e. no broken bones, permanent scarring, etc.) and still be awarded pain and suffering commensurate with those injuries which may be minimal. If the nature and extent of the injuries are more substantial, then the amount of damages under pain and suffering can be greater as well.

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3 comments

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Posted

Sorry, not comfortable with this answer. Understand the point you are trying to make, would "rather" have a fractured pinky than spinal surgery. Soft tissue is a term of art used by tort reformers and anti-consumer groups. Connective tissue involves ligaments, tendons, etc, and affects blood supply. It gets a whole lot more complicated from there. These injuries rarely, if ever, heal and the impact can be life altering. Please don't take this comment as criticism just as one concerned for those injured trying to help another concerned for those injured.

James E. Furbush

James E. Furbush

Posted

Sorry, you're right. I should have said the "so-called 'soft tissue' injuries" which are generally treated as less significant to defense attorneys... Jim

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Jeffrey Mark Adams

Posted

Thanks for taking it in the spirit it was intended.

Posted

Texas allows for the recovery of noneconomic damages, such as pain & suffering, in personal injury cases. The noneconomic damages also include disfigurement, mental anguish, physical impairment, loss of consortium, and loss of services. In some instances, such as in medical malpractice cases, the noneconomic damages may be capped

In a medical malpractice action filed on or after September 1, 2003, regardless of the number of causes of action asserted, non-economic damages are limited to a total of $250,000 from all doctors and other individuals. Non-economic damages are limited to $250,000 from each hospital or other institution and a total of $500,000 from all institutions. The cap applies to each "claimant," which includes everyone seeking damages due to one person's injury or death.

In a medical malpractice action for wrongful death, damages (both economic and non-economic) are limited to $500,000 (in 1977 dollars) plus the cost of any necessary medical or custodial care. The cap is adjusted annually for inflation, and is now approximately $1,650,000. In actions filed on or after September 1, 2003, this limit applies to the total recovery, not separately to each defendant, and includes exemplary damages.

To prove past pain, the plaintiff can testify about the pain experienced or introduce other evidence of it. To prove future pain, the evidence must show there is a reasonable probability the injury will continue to affect the plaintiff in the future.

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Posted

can a person sue for pain and suffering? Yes, a person can sue for pain and suffering in Texas. It is often submitted to the jury as "physical pain and mental anguish."

what is required to do that? The filing of a petition stating a claim for damages. One of the categories of damages may be physical pain and mental anguish.

Wont they have to prove it? Yes.

An example could be, but isnt limited to someone being in a car accident but isnt hurt at all, but maybe wants to say that. What can be done if sued with it? If someone is not hurt, it's unlikely a jury would award these damages. There is no claim for negligent infliction of emotional distress in Texas. So, without a physical injury, it would be very difficult to collect for "pain and suffering." If someone files a frivolous lawsuit, the court may award sanctions in favor of the defendant.

The answer provided is for general informational purposes only. You are strongly advised to contact an attorney in your jurisdiction to get their best advice. No attorney-client relationship has been formed and you should contact your own attorney as soon as possible to avoid delay.

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