Can I sue for pain and suffering in small claims court?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can I sue for pain and suffering in small claims court?

Texas. In January I was in an accident where I T-boned a car that was crossing in front of me. We were going 25-35 mph. I filed a claim with her insurance and they accepted 100% of the damage liability and after a couple of weeks my car was fixed but they denied any medical claims saying the accident wasn’t fast enough. I wasn’t massively injured and there wasn’t a huge amount of damage to my car ($1700) or hers. My shoulder and neck were sore the next day afterwards and I wanted to be sure nothing was wrong so I went to the urgent care and they did X-rays and said that I had probably pinched nerve and to do physical therapy. I don’t have insurance and I don’t have the money to pay for that out of pocket so I didn’t do that. The lawyer who I talked to said it wouldn’t be enough money for him to take the case. The medical bills only total $300. I’m pretty sure I have a

case to sue in small claims court, I’m just not sure what I can sue for. Is it just medical bills or can I also sue for the time it took to go to the urgent care or sit in the car repair shop and going into court? Can I also sue for pain and suffering?

Asked on April 4, 2019 under Accident Law, Texas


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You can sue the at-fault party for negligence. You can sue in small claims court. Your damages (monetary compensation you are seeking in your lawsuit) should include your medical bills, pain and suffering, and wage loss. 
Compensation for the medical bills is straight reimbursement. Compensation for pain and suffering is an amount in addition to the medical bills based on the medical reports. Compensation for wage loss is straight reimbursement. There isn't any mathematical formula for determining pain and suffering. It depends on the injury. If you have fully recovered, ask for quadruple the medical bills to compensate for pain and suffering. You can also claim reimbursement for transportation based on the distance and number of times you went to the doctor.If you are still having problems with the pinched nerve, you should ask for considerably more than quadruple the medical bills for pain and suffering. Time spent waiting at the repair shop and other places is not compensable.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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