Sustaining an injury can cause severe pain and suffering. In addition, it can cause emotional distress and diminished quality of life. Personal injuries can also result in significant financial losses.
Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §41.001 gives us the definition of economic damages. They are compensatory damages intended to compensate an injured party for actual economic or financial loss. Therefore, economic damages do not include the pain and suffering or non-economic damages you might experience.
What Types of Personal Injury Cases That Allow Economic Damages?
All personal injury cases permit injured parties to recover compensation for monetary losses. Examples of injury cases that could result in economic losses include:
- Motor vehicle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Premises liability claims
- Slip and fall accidents
- Pedestrian and bicycle accidents
- Nursing home abuse
- Product liability claims
If another party causes you to be injured, you can pursue a claim for your damages. First, however, you have the burden of proving fault and liability. Fault and liability can arise from negligence, intentional torts, and other types of wrongdoing.
Common Types of Economic Damages in Texas
Economic damages include any financial losses or expenses related to the accident, your injuries, and your recovery. Examples of economic losses include:
Property damage claims generally arise in motor vehicle accidents. The party who caused the crash is liable for the cost of repairs. If the vehicle is totaled, the at-fault party may be liable for the fair market value of the vehicle before the crash.
Loss of Income
Lost earnings can be a substantial portion of economic damages. If you are unable to work, you can recover compensation for your:
- Past and future lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Loss of benefits, including matching retirement, PTO, and accrued sick time
- Overtime compensation
- Bonuses and commission
You must have evidence of your loss of earnings. Copies of pay stubs, tax returns, and a statement from your employer might be sufficient. You must also have a medical statement from your doctor stating why your injuries prevented you from working.
You can recover the cost of medical bills and other expenses related to your medical care and treatment. Examples of medical expenses include:
- Physician bills
- Hospital costs
- Ambulance bills
- Therapy costs
- Prescription medications
- Medical supplies and equipment
- Nursing care
It is essential to seek medical care as soon as possible after a personal injury. Documenting your injuries increases the chance you receive full compensation for all damages in a personal injury case.
You may incur other costs because of the accident or injury. Examples of out-of-pocket expenses include:
- Cost of help with household services
- Travel expenses to and from health care appointments
- Modifications to your home or car because of a permanent impairment
- Over-the-counter medications
- The cost of personal care to assist with bathing, dressing, feeding, and other activities of daily living
Out-of-pocket expenses could total thousands of dollars. However, these expenses are often overlooked. Keep detailed records of these expenses to include in your injury claim.
What Is the Value of My Economic Damages?
The value of your economic damages is the actual monetary amount spent on each item. Careful recordkeeping can maximize the value of the claim. You must provide evidence proving you incurred the financial losses to recover compensation for these damages.
Does Texas Have Caps on Financial Damages?
Generally, Texas does not cap the amount of financial damages you can receive for a personal injury claim. You are required to present evidence proving the value of these damages.
However, there are some exceptions. There is a cap on damages when you sue a government entity. The cap is $250,000 on claims involving government entities per person, with a maximum of $500,000 per claim. These caps apply to non-economic AND economic damages.
The cap decreases to $100,000 ($300,000 per case) if the government entity is not a municipality, the State of Texas, or an emergency service organization.
Texas Proportionate Responsibility Law and Damages
Texas adopted a modified comparative fault standard for personal injury claims. If the injured party is partially to blame, the compensation they receive is reduced by their percentage of the blame.
Therefore, you could receive much less than your actual monetary losses if you contributed to the cause of your injury.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for Monetary Losses in a Personal Injury Case?
The deadline for filing claims for most personal injury cases is two years from the date of injury. That deadline includes claims for economic losses.
However, there are exceptions to the Texas statute of limitations. The deadline to sue the government is much shorter. If you do not file a notice of claim within six months, you could lose the right to sue.
Because there are exceptions to the filing deadlines for personal injury lawsuits, it is best to speak with a Fort Worth personal injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Texas Personal Injury Lawyer
You deserve fair compensation for the damages caused by a negligent or reckless individual. Our Texas personal injury attorneys fight to recover maximum compensation for all damages. Call our law firm today to schedule your free case evaluation with an experienced injury attorney.