When you sustain injuries because of another party’s negligence, you can hold them financially accountable for your losses by seeking personal injury damages and receiving a settlement or winning a verdict in a trial.
There are three types of damages you can pursue in a personal injury case:
- Economic Damages
- Non Economic Damages
- Punitive Damages
In Texas, economic damages are considered damages or losses. Economic damages are also called “tangible” losses. They are losses that come with an actual dollar amount, hitting you in the pocketbook, and that hit is often powerful, unfortunately.
Types of Economic Damages
Medical care is always expensive, and after a serious injury, you will accrue bills for your immediate care and continuing costs for extended care. Your injuries may require surgeries, rehabilitative therapies, hospitalization, home care, reconstructive measures, and other interventions. When someone else’s negligence is the reason you need medical care, that party – not you – should have to cover the costs.
While your health insurance may cover your medical care, you will still have copays. Or your insurance may not be enough to cover your needs. A fair settlement or a trial award will compensate you for your total losses and ensure your continued financial access to necessary care.
As you recover, you will need to take time off of work. Missed work often comes with lost income. Even if you can claim disability benefits, those benefits do not match your full wages. And if you have sick time available, it is not fair to lose the value of that time because of someone else’s irresponsibility. Some injuries are so severe that a full recovery is not possible, making it impossible for you to return to work.
You can trust your personal injury lawyer in Houston to calculate your income loss and, if necessary, your lost future earnings and job benefits and factor that amount into your economic damages.
If you are in a motor vehicle accident, your own vehicle may need extensive repairs or be completely destroyed. Or, you may have been traveling with devices, luggage, or other personal property that is damaged or destroyed in the accident.
Whatever your situation, your personal injury lawyer will hold the at-fault party responsible for compensating you for the loss of property.
Every personal injury case is different and comes with its own set of consequences. Personal injury victims who are responsible for caring for their kids’ daily needs and driving them from place to place may have to pay for childcare and transportation following a serious injury. Homeowners may not be able to keep up with household chores and maintenance on their own and will have to pay for those services.
Some victims’ abilities are permanently changed by an accident, and they need to restructure their living spaces to accommodate their needs.
These, or any other accident-related expenses, are not yours to bear, and Texas allows victims to hold the at-fault party responsible for their total economic damages. Your Houston personal injury attorney will include these costs in your settlement demand and / or demand them at trial.
Non-tangible losses are another term for non-economic damages, and while these losses do not come with a tangible price or clear-cut dollar amount, they often come with the highest costs. No amount of money can truly compensate a victim for non-tangible losses, but a financial award works to acknowledge their value. Determining this value is challenging and is a task you should leave in the capable hands of a Houston personal injury attorney.
Non-economic damages acknowledge:
- The physical pain your injuries have caused
- Your emotional distress–you may grieve the loss of independence or certain physical or cognitive abilities, may experience loneliness if you cannot interact with others as you once did, or feel despair as you endure the physical pain and ongoing medical interventions
- Psychological consequences of your accident and injuries, such as depression, anxiety, or suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Your reduced quality of life – When you cannot experience life on the physical, emotional, and psychological levels you once did, your overall quality of life is diminished
- Inconvenience experienced because of your injuries
There is no cap on non-economic damages in Texas except in cases of medical malpractice.
In Texas, personal injury victims can seek punitive, also called “exemplary,” damages if:
- You are awarded other damages
- You can prove the at-fault party acted fraudulently, with malice, or with gross negligence with “clear and convincing” evidence
Texas caps punitive damages unless the act that prompted them involved a felony. The cap is set at $200,000 or twice the amount of economic damages plus the amount of non-economic damages up to $750,000. Of those two possibilities, victims receive the higher amount.
Do not add to your stress and suffering after sustaining an injury caused by someone else. Reach out to an experienced Houston personal injury lawyer who will fight to get you justice and a settlement or trial verdict to cover your losses and meet your needs. The team at Dax F. Garza, P.C. will take your case personally, handling it with compassion and efficiency and holding the at-fault party or parties responsible for compensating you. We look forward to hearing from you.