Have you been injured because of another party’s intentional torts or negligence? If so, you could be entitled to damages for your injuries, suffering, and financial losses.
Texas personal injury laws provide for three types of damages: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages. The types of damages available in Texas personal injury cases depend on the facts and circumstances of the case.
What Are Damages in a Texas Personal Injury Case?
A court cannot undo the harm you sustained because of another party’s wrongful acts. However, it can provide compensation for your losses. Damages are the remedy the court offers as compensation for the financial, emotional, and physical harm you sustained.
The first two types of damages in a personal injury case are compensatory damages. The purpose of compensatory damages is to reimburse or compensate injured parties for their losses and the harm they sustained. Compensatory damages include:
Economic Damages in a Fort Worth Personal Injury Case
An injured victim incurs expenses and financial losses. Economic damages reimburse/compensate them for these losses.
Examples of economic damages in a personal injury case include:
- The cost of medical treatment and care, including occupational, physical, and other rehabilitative therapies
- The loss of income, including wages, salaries, and benefits
- Personal care and household services
- Out-of-pocket expenses and costs
- Property damage
- In-home nursing care
If you sustain a permanent disability or impairment, you may also receive compensation for future damages, including:
- Reductions in earning capacity and future lost wages
- Ongoing medical bills and expenses
- Long-term nursing and/or personal care
Our legal team works with you to track your expenses and financial losses to improve the value of your economic damages claim. We work with financial professionals, medical specialists, and other expert witnesses to determine the extent of damages in cases involving permanent impairments and disabilities. Texas does not have a cap on the amount of economic damages in personal injury cases, so we pursue settlement for the total amount of all financial damages.
Non-Economic Damages in a Fort Worth Personal Injury Case
Injured victims experience pain and suffering because of their accidents and injuries. They can seek compensation for these non-economic damages for their personal injury claim.
Examples of non-economic damages include, but are not limited to:
- Physical discomfort and pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Mental anguish
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Diminished quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Impairments and disabilities
The value of non-economic damages can be challenging to determine. Putting a price on pain and suffering is not the same as calculating the total of bills and expenses. Instead, we must review the factors involved in the case to determine the extent of harm sustained by the victim.
Factors we analyze to calculate the value of non-economic damages include:
- The type of injuries sustained
- The severity of impairments and disabilities caused by the injuries
- Whether the person can perform any activity to earn an income
- The person’s appearance before and after the injuries (i.e., scarring and disfigurement)
- The duration of the person’s recovery period
- The extent of disruption to the person’s life
- The types of medical treatments required to treat the injuries
- If the injuries adversely impact the person’s ability to maintain and engage in personal relationships
Other factors could impact the value of damages in a personal injury case. Generally, the value of pain and suffering damages increases with the severity of the injuries and impairments. The more an injury negatively impacts a person’s life, the higher the damages.
Can I Recover Punitive Damages for a Fort Worth Personal Injury Claim?
Punitive damages are the third type of damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits. These damages do not compensate the injured party for damages. Instead, juries award punitive damages to punish a defendant for specific types of conduct.
Texas punitive damage statutes state that a plaintiff must prove by clear and convincing evidence that a defendant acted with malice, gross negligence, or fraud to receive punitive damages. There is a higher burden of proof required for punitive damages, in addition to the specific circumstances that must be involved in the case. Therefore, punitive damages are only awarded in a small number of personal injury lawsuits.
How Does Comparative Fault Impact Damages in a Fort Worth Personal Injury Case?
Texas applies a modified comparative negligence standard in personal injury cases to apportion damages. If the victim is more than 50% at fault for the cause of their injuries, the law does not require the at-fault party to pay damages. Therefore, if a jury decides you are 55% at fault for a car crash, the at-fault driver would not be legally responsible for your damages.
However, if you are less than 51% to blame for the car crash, comparative fault does not bar you from receiving damages. It does reduce the amount you receive for your damages.
Suppose a jury decides you were 25% to blame for the car crash. Instead of receiving the total amount awarded for damages, you would receive 75% of the damages award.
Insurance adjusters often try to shift some of the blame for an accident to the victim to reduce the claim amount, even if the victim was not at fault. Talking with an insurance company before seeking legal advice could hurt your case. The statements you make could be intentionally twisted to imply that you admitted contributing to the cause of your injuries.
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for Damages in Texas?
There are several exceptions to the statute of limitations in Texas. The type of case, the parties involved, and other factors could impact the deadline.
It is always in an injured party’s best interest to seek legal advice as soon as possible. If you miss the deadline to file a personal injury lawsuit, you could lose your right to receive compensation for the damages you sustained because of another party’s wrongdoing.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Fort Worth Personal Injury Lawyer to Learn More About Damages and Personal Injury Cases
You deserve to be fairly compensated for the harm and losses caused by another party. Contact our team at Anderson Injury Lawyers to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Fort Worth personal injury attorney. Call us today at (817) 294-1900, we fight for your right to a fair settlement for your personal injury claim.