When someone is injured because of another’s negligence, it can result in a personal injury case. People interested in filing a lawsuit against an individual due to an injury may wonder what types of damages qualify to receive compensation in the State of Texas.
Our team has taken the time to list these damages so that our clients know what damages apply to their cases.
Types of Damages
The two main types of damages available to victims in a personal injury case are compensatory and punitive.
Compensatory damages are designed to compensate the victim for the actual losses they experienced because of the incident and resulting injury.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for their conduct.
Virtually all personal injury awards will include compensatory damages. Punitive damages, however, are not as common.
Compensatory Damages In-depth
The state of Texas breaks compensatory damages down into two categories: economic and non-economic.
After an injury-inducing accident, you will have medical expenses, potentially lost income (depending on the injury), and damages to other personal items such as your car. Economic damages refer to the types of damages where the amount of loss can be easily calculated. These include the following:
- Cost of Medical Care: In the majority of cases, an injury leads to medical bills. Medical treatment may be necessary immediately following the incident, for a specific amount of time following the incident, or even indefinitely. Economic damages should cover the cost of medical care that has already been received as well as the estimated cost of future medical expenses.
- Loss of Property: In many cases, incidents that lead to personal injury lawsuits also result in the loss of property, such as the totaling of a vehicle. Economic damages should cover the cost of replacing the items damaged or lost as a result of the incident.
- Lost Income: If an injury caused temporary or permanent disability, the victim is likely to lose wages and/or the ability to earn income in the future. Economic damages replace the lost wages and the estimated future income lost due to the accident.
Non-economic damages refer to compensation given to cover the physical, mental, and emotional pain of any injuries. Because this pain cannot be monetarily qualified, calculating them is a bit more difficult.
Texas state law allows victims of personal injury cases to pursue compensation for the following:
- Emotional Distress: Most personal injury cases focus on an incident that likely caused the victim significant mental anguish. Damages for emotional distress compensate the victim for the psychological impact of the incident.
- Pain and Suffering: Injuries and the following treatment are often painful for victims. Damages for pain and suffering are an attempt to make up for the physical consequences of the incident.
- Loss of Enjoyment and/or Consortium: Many injuries and associated disabilities have an impact on the victim’s enjoyment of life and/or his or her relationship with a significant other. As a result, personal injury awards may include additional compensation for these losses.
Understanding Punitive Damages
Punitive damages are only awarded in addition to any compensatory damages when the defendant’s actions are considered extremely negligent, so they are not awarded in every personal injury case.
However, like many states, Texas imposes limits on the number of punitive damages a victim can receive in a personal injury case.
Receive the Compensation You Deserve
If you have been the victim of a serious injury because of the negligence of another person or organization, you are entitled to compensation. Although this compensation will not make up for the suffering you have experienced, it can help you with your financial burdens and allow you to move on with your life.
To maximize your chances of winning the compensation you deserve, you need a competent personal injury attorney to represent you in court. The experienced personal injury attorneys at the Hernandez Law Group, P.C. will fight aggressively on your behalf to make sure that you get every dime you deserve for your injuries.
Juan Hernandez is a board-certified personal injury attorney, a qualification that only two percent of Texas attorneys have. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or learn more.