Dallas Pain and Suffering Lawyer :: Evaluating, Proving, and Reasons for Pain and Suffering recovery

Attorney Doug Goyen is a Dallas pain and suffering lawyer who has handled thousands of personal injury cases, recovering millions of dollars in settlements and in judgments.  Attorney Doug Goyen's background as an injury claims adjuster for several years prior to becoming an attorney give him the perspective needed to present cases to insurers in a way that is most effective for the best representation of his injury clients. 

Pain & Suffering - Methods to Evaluate Value:

There are many ways to evaluate the value of pain and suffering for those searching for their injury claim value. Those opposed to personal injury cases - such as big business and the insurance industry have worked hard to try and convince people that there is no real monetary value in "pain and suffering". For those who have bought into this line of thinking, they are convinced that this is just extra money that serves no purpose. In the Dallas area, jurors are typical of what has been happening nation wide. A Dallas pain and suffering lawyer often must undergo a very careful jury selection in order to make sure people who have already made up their minds against certain issues such as pain and suffering, regardless of the individual facts of the case, are unable to taint the outcome of a trial.

Unfortunately, people with these viewpoints often are not viewing the real cost of pain and suffering.

The economic viewpoint of the value of "pain and suffering" is seen in medicine itself. When a dentist drills a tooth, he might charge almost an equal sum for a shot to kill the pain. We spend an untold amount of money each day to stop headaches and similar aches and pains. You would never consider surgery without an anesthetic, and we know how much an anesthesiologist would charge or how much the anesthetic cost would be. Pain has a dollar value recognized in money transactions in the everyday world. Each jurisdiction, and each jury in fact, has a different view on the value of pain and suffering. A Dallas injury lawyer will know the injury claim value in Dallas due to his work in the area, and the fact that he lives in the community and will have some idea of the common perceptions of certain types of cases and injuries are in the area.

The next person who tells you that there is no monetary value to "pain and suffering" you should tell them that the next time they have surgery, they should just not take any anesthesia or other pain killing drugs, because its too expensive, and there is no value in them avoiding any pain and suffering. Why should insurance pay for their pain and suffering if they don't believe there is any value to it? This is a quick way to demonstrate that there really is value in avoiding pain and suffering and the value of pain and suffering should be relative to what the cost would be to avoid it in some way. Even the most hardened opponents to giving money for pain and suffering typically only feel that way when it comes to paying money for other people's pain and suffering, not their own.

These ways of evaluating pain and suffering are not exclusive, but are guides to how they can be evaluated. There is no set formula, and if a jury believes someone has incurred pain and suffering, they can offer anything they want, from $1 up to millions in the right case.

Economic evaluation: In other words, the value of avoiding pain. How much does society pay to avoid pain? How many billions of dollars are spent each year in taking pain medications in order to not feel pain? What about taking anesthetic when a dentist drills a tooth? Or when a surgeon is performing surgery. How much do we pay for the anesthesia that is designed to avoid the pain? Often we pay about as much for the anesthesia as we pay for the medical procedure itself. There is a real and measurable value to avoiding pain.

Religious evaluation: God created a universe. He also created a hell. Hell's ultimate punishment is not death, but pain. See, even our own religions put pain as the ultimate punishment. Therefor, when pain is wrongfully inflicted, there is a true need to compensate that person for having been wronged.

US Constitution:  The US Constitution says that our Government cannot inflict cruel and unusual punishment. In our country, we can impose a death sentence, but we cannot impose a sentence placing a person in pain.

There is a value to avoiding pain. And when pain is wrongfully inflicted on a person, it is just that the person be compensated, our society recognizes it economically, religiously, and Constitutionally.

There is an injury claim value to pain and suffering and a value to not having it. Those in the Dallas area who have pain and suffering due to the negligence of others should contact a Dallas injury lawyer.

Pain and Suffering - How to Prove

Element of Damage - Pain and Suffering (Proving):

A Dallas pain and suffering lawyer will know what is needed to prove your damages. Typically, a question most people have in a personal injury case is "what is the value of the pain and suffering?" Its a good question. There is no set formula in Texas on how to figure this out. You have to take each case on its facts to determine what a fair amount would be for that particular case and injury. The law and what evidence is admissible is helpful in guiding what to look at when trying to evaluate the value of someone's pain and suffering on their personal injury case or claim.


A jury may arrive at fair compensation for physical pain based on common knowledge and their sense of justice. Pipgras v. Hart, 832 S.W.2d 360, (Tex. App.—Fort Worth 1992, writ denied). The amount for reasonable compensation for physical pain is not to be determined by a set formula, but is for a jury’s discretion. Some call this element of damage “physical suffering” or “pain and suffering”, but when submitted to a jury it is usually just “physical pain”. Many times physical pain is mixed with mental anguish as a jury submission. So often you will hear the term “physical pain and mental anguish” as a single submission for compensation by the jury.


Just because someone is injured does not necessarily mean there was pain. Evidence of a) severity of injury, b) what injury was like at scene of accident, c) how painful and frightening the ER treatment was, d) fear of death, e) pain – loss of sight after surgery, f) loss of self-esteem causing a reclusiveness all were sufficient evidence to give an award for physical pain / mental anguish. Future pain and suffering evidence can be sufficient if it shows that the person is still suffering up to the time of testimony.

How to Prove:

Lay witnesses (friends, family, neighbors, co-workers) are people who are not experts. A lay witness’ testimony regarding physical pain is able to testify and give their factual observations to the physical condition they witnessed on the person with the injury.

One method that was not allowed was when a plaintiff’s lawyer asked the jury to feel the shoulder of the injury to demonstrate how it was injured. The court held this was intended to inflame the minds of the jury. But on the other hand, plaintiffs generally are able to show parts of their body that are injured, such as if you have a swollen ankle or other part of the body where the injury is visible. Photographs of the injury are admissible. The plaintiff themselves may testify, as may their doctor or others who participated in treating or witnessed the effects of the injury.

Pain & Suffering - Reasons Law Allows

Part of the job of an attorney is to educate jurors on why they need to find in their client's favor.  A Dallas pain and suffering lawyer will know the reasons pain and suffering recoveries are allowed, and will be able to show a jury why those laws should apply in your case - they should be able to convey these reasons to the insurance company when trying to settle your case as well.  The law recognizes a right to be compensated for your pain and suffering caused by the intentional or wrongful / negligent actions of others.

Among the reasons for this law are:

Compensation: To put the injured person back in the same position they would have been in had there been no injury. Money is the only way a court can perform this compensation. There is no magic wand to take the pain away. The loss to a person's health and ability to live without the pain involved is worth compensation.

Deterrence: The policy behind the law of torts is more than compensation of victims. It seeks also to encourage implementation of reasonable safeguards against risks of injury. Holding wrongdoers responsible gives some level of deterrence to wrongdoers or their insurers to implement safety policies, and correct bad behavior.

Shifting Costs from Victim to Wrongdoer: Who should bear the cost of a wrongful act? The victim, or the wrongdoer? The victim is usually not in a good position to bear the cost of the wrongful act due to the injury caused. The law therefor demands that wrongdoers pay for the harm they cause.

Preference to NOT be injured: Victims prefer their pre-injury condition, this justifies compensation. Nobody wants to be injured - for good reason. If someone injures someone else through bad acts, the injured person should be compensated for losing his pre-injury condition.

Loss of Self: A loss of part of your humanity has a value. If you endure pain, this has consequences – loss of mobility, loss of a limb, inability to enjoy things you once could enjoy – all due to pain. The pain caused by injury can change a person from who they once were. This loss demands compensation from the wrongdoer.

A religious way of viewing the value of pain & suffering is sometimes helpful. For those who have religious beliefs it is often helpful to ask what the ultimate punishment is. When God created the universe, he also created a hell. Hell is not a place of death but a place of pain. Death is just a release from the body from many religious standpoints, and is actually a release from pain. The ultimate punishment that is placed upon those judged to hell is pain. Religion places pain - pain that does not end, as one of the worst punishments an individual can receive. People have prayed for death, but you do not hear of people praying for pain.

Yet one more way to realize the injury claim value of avoiding pain is in the creation of our own country. When our country was founded, they put into the Constitution that our Government could not inflict pain as a source of punishment. No cruel and unusual punishment. In our country you can sentence a person to die, but you cannot sentence them to pain. Our country puts a high enough value on avoiding pain that it protects individuals from punishment by inflicting pain.

If you need help, call (972) 599-4100 or Contact Us Online for a free initial phone consultation. Our office has years of experience helping those who have been injured. Once we take your case we will aggressively and intelligently pursue your case - keeping you informed of every step.

By Doug Goyen, douggoyen@gmail.com 

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