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Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases in Texas


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Types of personal injury damages in Texas

If you have been injured in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for your damages. Personal injury damages can be divided into economic and non-economic categories in Texas. Personal injury attorney Greg Baumgartner at Baumgartner Law Firm will discuss the damages that may be awarded in a personal injury case in Texas.

Economic Damages

Economic or special damages are tangible losses that can be easily quantified. These damages are meant to compensate you for financial losses they have incurred due to the accident. Some common types of economic damages in personal injury cases include:

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are among the most common economic damages in personal injury cases. Medical expenses include any costs related to medical treatment, such as hospital bills, doctor’s visits, prescription medication, physical therapy, and more. It is important to keep track of all medical expenses and copies of any bills or receipts to support your compensation claim.

Lost Wages

If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages. Lost earning capacity includes any income you would have earned if you had not been injured. Lost wages can also include any future income you may lose if your injuries prevent you from returning to work or if you cannot work in the same capacity as before the accident.

Property Damage

If your vehicle was damaged in the accident, you may be entitled to compensation for the cost of repairs or replacement. Property damages can include damage to your vehicle and other personal belongings damaged in the accident. Also, if your car was significantly damaged, you could seek compensation for the diminished value.

Other Economic Damages

Other economic damages that may be awarded in a personal injury case include:

· Loss of earning capacity

· Cost of household services

· Cost of transportation to and from medical appointments

· Cost of home modifications for disability

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, also called general damages, are damages or losses that are more difficult to value. These damages are meant to compensate you for any non-financial losses you have suffered because of the accident. Types of non-economic damages in Texas personal injury cases include:

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering refer to the physical and emotional pain and distress that you experience because of your injuries. Pain and suffering can include physical pain, mental anguish, and emotional distress. It is difficult to put a monetary value on pain and suffering, but it is an important factor in determining the overall compensation in a personal injury case.

Physical Impairment and Loss of Enjoyment of Life

If your injuries have caused you to lose the ability to do things you once enjoyed, you may be entitled to compensation for physical impairment or loss of enjoyment of life. Loss of enjoyment can include hobbies, sports, and things you can no longer do because of your injuries.

Mental Anguish and Emotional Distress

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium is the loss of companionship, affection, and support from a spouse or family member because of the victim’s injuries. This damage is typically awarded to the victim’s spouse or family member rather than the victim.

Other Non-Economic Damages

Other non-economic damages that may be awarded in a personal injury case include:

· Loss of reputation

· Loss of companionship

· Loss of guidance or mentorship

· Loss of parental support or guidance

Punitive Damages

In some cases, the court may award punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, in addition to economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages in Texas are meant to punish a defendant for their actions and deter them from further bad acts in the future. Exemplary damages are typically only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly risky or intentional.

Texas limits the amount of exemplary damages that can be awarded and requires tougher legal hurdles for punitive damage awards.

Factors That Impact Damages in Texas Personal Injury Cases

The damages awarded in a personal injury case in Texas can vary greatly depending on the case’s specific circumstances. Some factors that may affect the amount of damages awarded include:

Severity of Injuries

The severity of the victim’s injuries is a major factor in determining the damages awarded. More severe injuries will result in higher compensation, as they require more extensive medical treatment and have a greater impact on the victim’s life.

Impact on Daily Life

The impact of the injuries on your daily life is also considered when determining damages. The impact can include the ability to work, participate in activities, and perform daily tasks.

Comparative Fault

In Texas, damages may be reduced if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident. Partial fault is known as comparative fault or contributory negligence. For example, if you are held to be 20% at fault for the accident, your damages may be reduced by 20%. Note that in Texas, if your fault is found to be over 50%, you will be barred from collecting damages.

Available Insurance Coverage

The amount of insurance coverage available will impact the damages recovered. If the defendant has limited or no insurance coverage, collecting the full damages owed to you may be difficult.

How to Maximize Your Personal Injury Settlement

If you have been injured in an accident, taking the necessary steps to maximize your personal injury settlement is important. Some tips for maximizing your settlement include:

Seek Medical Treatment

It is important to seek medical treatment as soon as possible after an accident, even if you do not think you have been seriously injured. Not only is this important for your health, but it also provides proof and documentation of your injuries and their severity.

Keep Detailed Records

Keeping detailed records of all medical treatment, expenses, and other losses you have suffered due to the accident helps prove your damages. Keeping documentation will help support your compensation claim.

Hire an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

Hiring a top-rated personal injury attorney can greatly increase your chances of receiving a fair settlement. An attorney can help you with the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and fight so you receive the compensation you deserve.

How to Seek Compensation for Damages

To seek compensation for damages, you must first gather evidence of your damages and send a demand letter to the at-fault person’s insurance company requesting compensation for those damages.

If you cannot reach an acceptable settlement with the insurance adjuster, you must file a personal injury lawsuit, in which you will list your damages in your original petition.

Calculating Damages for Your Case

Economic damages for medical care are easy to calculate. You can determine them by examining your medical bills and calculating the amount you paid or incurred for medical care necessary because of the accident. Texas uses a system of “paid or incurred” medical expenses, meaning that medical providers’ discounts or write-offs are not included in your medical damages total. Yet the amount the health insurance company provider paid and your remaining deductible or balance are all part of the damages you can seek for medical care.

Determining the loss of earning capacity can be the amount of money you lose for being unable to work.

Noneconomic damages are much more difficult to calculate. Some use several formulas to calculate their noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering.

The multiplier method uses your economic damages and multiplies them by a number between 1 and 5 to come up with an amount of damages for your noneconomic Damages.

With this method, if you had medical bills of $10,000 and used a multiplier of three, your valuation would be $30,000 for your noneconomic damages. You would add your economic damages to get the total settlement amount.

However, each case is unique, and many factors could impact how much damages are reasonable for your case. Texas uses a comparative responsibility system that reduces damages by any percentage of fault that you may have contributed to causing an accident. Additionally, insurance limitations may also impact a settlement.

Take advantage of a free consultation with a personal injury attorney to help understand how much you may be entitled to in damages for your case.

Contact a Texas Personal Injury Lawyer at Baumgartner Law Firm for a Free Consultation

Contact the Baumgartner Law Firm in Houston for a free consultation on personal injury cases and learn your rights and options.

(281) 587-1111

Baumgartner Law Firm Practice Pages:

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About Our Law Firm

Baumgartner Law Firm is a Houston personal injury law firm headed by Greg Baumgartner.

Our firm was established in 1985 and has helped thousands of injury victims get maximum compensation for their cases. If you have been injured in an accident in Houston, TX, contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation. (281) 587-1111.

Helping these areas around Houston

Houston, Sugar LandConroeThe WoodlandsCypressSpring,  Atascocita, Humble, Kingwood and Tomball.