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What Are Economic Damages?

What Are Economic Damages?

The concept of “economic damages” plays a major role in civil litigation. This is especially true in personal injury cases. Economic damages are a large component of the compensation you may recover for your claim. If you or a loved one has been injured in Houston, it is crucial to understand the different types of compensation that may be available. 

According to Texas law, economic damages refer to the compensable financial losses you incurred due to your injury or accident. Unlike non-economic damages, which cover pain and suffering, economic damages are tangible. This means they can be quantified in monetary terms. In Texas, economic damages are critical to many personal injury cases. 

Economic damages may be awarded to you for financial losses you suffer due to the negligence of another. They help ensure that you are made whole again financially after an accident or injury. There are different categories of economic damages recognized in the Texas legal system. A personal injury attorney in Houston can help you determine which may be available in your case, including the following: 

Table of Contents

Medical Expenses

Medical Expenses

These economic damages encompass a range of costs incurred for your medical treatment after an injury. 

Medical expenses include, but are not limited to:

  • Hospital Stays: Charges for your room, nursing care, and hospital services.
  • Surgeries: Costs associated with your surgical procedures, including anesthesia and operating room expenses.
  • Medications: Costs for prescription drugs required for your treatment or pain management.
  • Physical Therapy: Expenses for rehabilitation and physical therapy sessions to your recovery.
  • Ongoing Medical Treatments: Costs for long-term care, such as regular medical check-ups, follow-up procedures, or pain management appointments.
  • Medical Equipment: Expenses for medical equipment like crutches, wheelchairs, or home modifications you need for recovery.

Medical expenses are often a major part of your total economic damages. 

Lost Wages

This category of economic damages compensates you for your financial losses due to an inability to work because of your injury. 

You may receive compensation for the following:

  • Immediate Lost Wages: Compensation for actual lost income from missed workdays.
  • Future Lost Wages: Compensation for future lost income if you cannot return to work for a certain period.
  • Diminished Earning Capacity: Compensation for reduced earning potential if your injury leads to a permanent disability affecting your ability to earn a living.
  • Career Opportunities: Compensation for lost or missed career opportunities, such as promotions or job offers, due to your injury.

A Houston personal injury lawyer can help you calculate the full extent of your lost wages. 

Property Damage

Some accidents or personal injuries cause property damage. For example, in car accident cases, economic damages include property damage to your vehicle. 

You may recover compensation for the following:

  • Vehicle Repairs: Costs for repairing your damaged vehicle.
  • Vehicle Replacement: Compensation for your vehicle’s current market value if it is totaled.
  • Personal Property: Compensation for personal items damaged in the accident, such as electronics, clothing, or accessories.

Depending on your accident, property damage claims can be significant. Be sure to keep receipts for damaged property to document your out-of-pocket expenses. 

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

These economic damages are additional costs associated with your injury, including the following: 

  • Travel Expenses: Costs for traveling to and from medical appointments, including gas, parking fees, or public transportation costs.
  • Home Care Services: Expenses for services like in-home nursing care or assistance with daily activities.
  • Miscellaneous Costs: Other incidental expenses related to your injury, such as childcare costs incurred during hospital stays or medical appointments.

Economic damages vary from case to case. A Houston personal injury lawyer can help you evaluate which damages may be available in your case. They can also make sure all sources of compensation are accounted for. 

How Do I Prove Economic Damages?

Calculating and proving economic damages is a meticulous process. It often requires factual evidence, documentation, and expert testimony. This ensures that the compensation you are seeking accurately reflects the financial impact of your injury or loss. You may need to do the following to prove economic damages: 

Gather Comprehensive Documentation

Compile all relevant medical documentation, including hospital bills, medication receipts, therapy sessions, and other expenses. You will also need to collect pay stubs or your salary history for a lost wage claim. This is crucial for showing both past and future loss of income. 

Use Expert Testimony

Experts are persuasive to judges and juries. They can also help strengthen your claim for compensation, including economic damages. For example, medical experts can testify about your medical condition, future medical needs, and the costs of prolonged treatment. Economic professionals can help calculate lost earnings, including future lost wages and benefits. 

Establish a Clear Link Between Your Accident and Damages

You must show a direct correlation between your accident or injury and your economic losses. The key is to show that your losses are a direct result of the defendant’s actions and would not have occurred otherwise. Without establishing a clear or persuasive link, your economic damages may be significantly diminished. 

Hire a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer

Consider hiring a lawyer who specializes in personal injury cases. An experienced Houston personal injury lawyer can guide you through the process of proving economic damages and advocate on your behalf. 

Consult a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer

Economic damages are a major source of compensation in Houston personal injury cases. It is important for you to understand their scope and the damages that may be available in your case.

A Houston personal injury can help. Contact us to schedule a free consultation with Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers today. You can call us at (888) 603-3636.