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What Are Economic Damages in Texas?

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What are economic damages?

The annual economic cost due to motor vehicle crashes in Texas is over $17 billion a year, according to the Department of Transportation

However, the Houston Chronicle suggests that if you factor in accident-related losses such as lost wages, the real annual toll is closer to a staggering $38 billion. Average, hardworking Texans are the ones who shoulder these costs – often financially crippling themselves in the process. 

If you were injured in an accident caused by someone else, here’s what you need to understand: You shouldn’t be footing the bill for their mistake. There is no reason for you to shoulder the economic burden of an accident that you didn’t cause, and luckily, you don’t have to when you partner with an experienced personal injury attorney.

With help from the Baumgartner Law Firm, you can hold negligent parties accountable for the damage they have caused to your property, health, and career. Keep reading to gain a concrete understanding of how economic damages work in Texas so that you can pursue the compensation you deserve with confidence. 

Are you drowning in medical debt after being seriously injured in an accident? You don’t have to be. Contact Baumgartner Law Firm online to schedule a free consultation and discuss your legal options for compensation. 

Economic Damages Explained

To understand how economic damages work, you must first understand the underlying concept of “damages.” Some of these terms are self-explanatory, while others may seem a little misleading. 

But First — What Are Damages?

In the legal world, the phrase “damages” represents all of the various losses a plaintiff experiences due to their accident. When you pursue damages, you pursue compensation for relevant injuries. Note that the phrase “injuries” also has a special meaning in the legal world – as it refers to both physical health concerns and financial losses. 

Read More: Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases in Texas

The Definition of Economic Damages

Economic damages refer specifically to financial losses. Any financial loss incurred as a direct result of an accident could be economic damage. As long as the negligence of another party caused these damages, they should be compensated fully after a successful injury claim. 

Examples of Economic Damages

It is easier to understand how economic damages work when you consider various examples:

  • Medical expenses. Perhaps the most pressing financial concerns faced by injured victims are their medical bills. Even if the patient ultimately dies as a result of their injuries, healthcare providers may pass unpaid medical bills onto their surviving loved ones. Insurance may also fail to completely cover these costs, leaving patients with serious levels of debt. 
  • Missed wages. An injury that puts a worker out of commission for just a few weeks can lead to costly missed wages. For someone who earns over six figures, a single week of missed work can cost many thousands of dollars. More serious injuries can lead to years of missed wages – and this lack of income can compound the issue of unresolved medical debt. Permanent disabilities often lead to a lifetime of lost wages. Those who pass away in car accidents may leave children, spouses, and other dependents without financial support. 
  • Funeral costs. Deceased car accident victims also require proper funerals and memorial services. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral in the United States is almost $8,000. Family members often put themselves into debt in order to provide their loved ones with dignified burials. 
  • Property damage. Plaintiffs may also incur various forms of property damage as a result of their accidents. The most obvious examples involve auto damage after a crash. The cost of repairing a vehicle can be tremendous, and insurance may not cover the full repair bill. Other valuables may be lost or damaged as a result of various accidents. 

It is important to distinguish between economic and non-economic damages. While the former represents financial losses, the latter refers to emotional or psychological issues. These are often summed up by catch-all phrases such as “emotional distress” or “pain & suffering.” More specific examples include disfigurement, PTSD, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of consortium, humiliation, and so on. The existence of non-economic damages may be challenging to establish due to their abstract nature. 

Who Can Pursue Economic Damages?

A wide range of plaintiffs can pursue economic damages. As long as you can establish that someone else’s negligence caused your accident, you can pursue compensation for your economic damages by filing an injury claim. Economic damages apply not only to car accidents but also to a wide range of other incidents. These include slips and falls, injuries caused by defective products, medical malpractice, and many others. 

In some cases, it might not even be necessary to establish that your economic damages were caused by someone else’s negligence. A workplace injury, for example, falls under workers’ compensation – a program that provides compensation for economic damages regardless of fault. In addition, plaintiffs do not need to establish negligence in “strict liability” claims – such as those involving animal attacks. 

Proving Economic Damages

Establishing the existence of economic damages should be relatively straightforward. Because these damages represent financial losses, there is often a clear paper trail documenting both their existence and net cost. Perhaps the most obvious example is a medical bill or receipt.

However, you must seek proper medical treatment in order to obtain these medical bills. If you fail to seek medical treatment in a timely manner, you may lack the necessary evidence to establish the cost of your injuries. It may even be difficult to establish the existence of your underlying injuries since you will also lack relevant medical records. 

To prove the cost of your lost wages, collect evidence of your earning history and capability. These documents might include income statements, tax returns, pay stubs, and so on. With this evidence, you can establish what you would have earned if the injury had not prevented you from working. 

As a general rule, it is a smart choice to save receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses you incur after your injury – even if you’re not sure whether they represent legitimate economic damages. Your injury lawyer in Texas can review them in more detail and determine whether they could lead to compensation. 

Baumgartner Law Firm: Trusted Personal Injury Attorneys in Houston, Texas

If you have incurred economic damages as a result of your car accident in Texas, it makes sense to cover these costs by filing an injury claim. Whether you suffered a permanent disability or a straightforward fracture, negligent parties should pay for your medical expenses, missed wages, and property damage. 

The Baumgartner Law Firm has been assisting injured plaintiffs in Texas for over 35 years, and we know how financially ruinous car accidents can be. First founded in 1985, our law firm has since gained a solid reputation for helping countless victims and their families. We have a track record of guiding our clients toward multi-million-dollar results – so book your consultation today and take your first steps toward meaningful compensation. 

Baumgartner Law Firm Practice Pages:

Car Accident Attorney

Truck Accident Lawyer

Texas Personal Injury Lawyer

Wrongful Death Attorney

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, Kingwood and Tomball.