What “Damages” Can You Get in a Personal Injury Claim in Texas?
Damages recoverable for a personal injury claim in Texas depend on the extent of harm you have undergone and the amount fault you share for the accident or incident that caused your injuries. For purposes of damages, harm suffered as a result of someone else’s negligence in measured in dollar amounts.
What Are Personal Injury Damages?
Under state law, personal injury damages are classified in two different categories: economic and non-economic (also known as general and special damages).
This category of damages is designed to ensure that the party who caused the accident and injuries, not the victim, bears the financial costs. Examples of economic damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses: Healthcare is expensive today. This type of compensation allows victims to recover the cost of medical care related to injuries caused by the negligence of another. Past medical expenses are the costs you have incurred following the accident, including hospital bills, doctor’s visits, and prescription medications. These costs can be easily proven. Future medical expenses are concerned with the likely cost of future treatments, are more speculative in nature.
- Loss of earning capacity, past and future: Many people are unable to work for some time after a serious accident. Under the law, injured people can recover the amount of wages or earnings they have already lost because of the injury. Severe injuries can also impact a person’s ability to earn a living in the future. Loss of future earning capacity damages are designed to cover the difference between what the injured person can expect to make in the future and what he or she could have earned if the accident had not happened.
- Loss of household services: Household services are the jobs we perform around the house. Examples include cooking meals, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn, or any service you would have to pay someone else to do. These damages cover the cost of paying someone to perform household services if the accident and injuries have prevented the victim from doing so.
After a serious accident, victims have more than medical bills and missed work to deal with. They are likely to suffer physical and mental effects that are not as easily quantifiable. This type of harm is classified as non-economic damages. Examples include:
- Physical and emotional pain and suffering: This category includes past and future pain and suffering. Your own testimony and the testimony of medical professionals are used to prove these damages, as well as medical evidence that the injury will continue to affect you in the future.
- Mental anguish: If the accident was particularly traumatic, mental anguish damages can be claimed. A serious accident can cause emotional as well as physical wounds. Your testimony on this matter will need to be supplemented with the testimony of a psychologist who has performed a psychological evaluation of how the accident affected your mental state.
- Physical impairment: These damages can be claimed when the accident caused loss of enjoyment of life. This may include inability to participate in sports, hobbies, or recreational activities.
- Disfigurement: When a serious accident significantly affects the victim’s appearance, disfigurement damages can be claimed. This involves demonstrating how you have been cosmetically affected by your injuries.
If you have been injured in an accident that was someone else’s fault, call the Sorey Law Firm P.L.L.C. at (903) 207-5526. We can tell you if you have a personal injury case and what damages you may be entitled to claim.