If you have suffered an injury caused by a negligent party, you may be eligible to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation to pay for the damage done. When it comes to personal injury claims, it is imperative to determine how much your claim is worth to ensure you are aware of the maximum settlement amount you can obtain.
There are two types of actual damages in a Texas personal injury claim: economic and noneconomic damages. Economic damages are your real and measurable losses, while noneconomic damages are considered unquantifiable and not out-of-pocket expenses.
Economic damages refer to actual losses which are calculated by adding up amounts of bills, invoices, and receipts related to your injuries.
The following are the common types of economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit:
- Medical expenses – From surgery and medication to hospital stays and transportation to and from the hospital, medical bills after suffering a serious injury can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. A plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit can seek compensation for any past, present, and future medical expenses associated with the injury.
- Lost wages – When an individual suffers a serious injury, he/she may have to miss time from work temporarily in order to make the best recovery possible. On the other hand, permanent injuries may mean that the person is unable to return to work in the future. Since lost wages are considered economic losses, a plaintiff in a personal injury claim can seek compensation for the actual value of lost income.
- Lost benefits – In the event a person is unable to go back to work due to a permanent injury, he/she may miss out on specific economic benefits such as retirement, pension, and bonuses.
- Property damage – A personal injury lawsuit can seek costs associated with repairing or replacing property. In the event of a car accident, for example, a person can sue the negligent party to pay for damage done to his/her vehicle.
Noneconomic damages are meant to compensate an individual on his/her intangible losses. These types of damages do not their own monetary value.
Common types of noneconomic damages include:
- Pain and suffering/emotional distress – If a person experiences physical pain and suffering, as well as emotional and mental anguish as a result of the accident and injury, they can recover compensation for these damages. Many insurance companies and lawyers use either the multiplier or the daily rate method to calculate these damages.
- Disfigurement – If the accident resulted in physical disfigurement and impairment.
- Loss of consortium – If the accident makes an injured individual unable to have an intimate and sexual relationship with his/her spouse.
- Loss of enjoyment in life – If the accident and injury prevent an injured person from engaging in activities they once enjoyed in life.
Also known as exemplary damages, a judge orders these damages for the defendant to pay a plaintiff in order to punish the defendant for his/her egregious actions. The defendant must’ve intentionally caused the accident and injury through malice or gross negligence.
If you have been injured in an accident caused by a negligent party in Texas, contact our Fort Worth personal injury attorney at the Law Office of James M. Stanley and schedule a free consultation today.