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What Damages Can I Recover in a Texas Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Houston Personal Injury Lawyer | Damages in a Texas Personal Injury Lawsuit

Undefeated Houston Personal Injury Lawyers

After an accident, your world turns upside down. Medical bills pile up and the weight of emotional trauma sets in. Figuring out how to move forward can feel overwhelming. If you were involved in an 18-wheeler accident, plant explosion, oilfield accident, or any other catastrophic accident, understanding the damages you may be entitled to recover is a crucial step in rebuilding your life — and your future.

But what are damages in the first place? And what type of damages are recoverable in a personal injury case? 

Here is a closer look at damages that can be recovered, the factors that affect how much you’re able to recover, and how our Houston personal injury lawyers can ensure that you receive the maximum compensation for your injuries and losses.

What Are Personal Injury Damages?

Personal injury damages award compensation, either in a trial or through a settlement, for your injuries and losses.  

No matter the type of accident you were in, hiring an experienced trial attorney and filing a personal injury lawsuit is the only way to receive justice and hold the people or company responsible for your damages accountable. But how damages are determined is not a one-size-fits-all process.

First and foremost, experienced accident attorneys will tell you that damages typically fall into two categories: past and future.

  • Past Damages aim to compensate you for the losses you’ve incurred from the moment of the accident up to the last day of your trial. This period is crucial, as it reflects the immediate aftermath of the incident and the hardships that you’ve already faced.
  • Future Damages, on the other hand, kick in once the jury or judge delivers their verdict. Depending on the nature and severity of your injuries, future damages can continue for the rest of your life. They address the ongoing and long-term effects of your injuries, including things like medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other physical and financial losses that will continue even after your personal injury lawsuit is resolved.

Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case

Past and future damages fall under one of two categories of compensatory damages. These are damages that compensate you for your injuries or losses.

Compensatory damages can be further broken down into “economic” and “non-economic” damages, both of which are recoverable under Texas law.

Economic Damages 

Economic (or General) damages compensate you for actual, out-of-pocket losses and expenses you incurred as a result of your injury. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, lost wages, and a diminished future income.

An easy way to think about “economic” damages? They can all be added up with a calculator by looking through the bills and summing up the total costs.

Non-Economic Damages 

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, compensate you for what we call “human losses.”  These are the intangible losses that are suffered when someone is seriously injured or tragically killed: 

  • Being in pain when you wake up and go to bed every day
  • Not being able to play with your kids or do the things you enjoy because of your injury
  • The blow to your self-confidence because you can’t work or provide for your family
  • The anxiety, depression, fear, hopelessness, and grief that accompany the pain and inability to do the things you love.

Unlike “economic” damages, non-economic damages cannot be added up on a calculator, but they are some of the most important damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

What Are Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

Economic damages are the damages that most people are familiar with.  

Types of Economic Damages:

  • Past lost wages: The wages or money that you lost from not being able to work, starting from the time of the accident up through trial. 
  • Future lost wages: The money that you won’t be able to earn in the future, beginning after trial and continuing for as long as your doctor says you won’t be able to work due to your injuries. 
  • Past medical expenses: The costs of the medical treatment you received since the accident.
  • Future medical expenses: The costs of the medical treatment that you are more likely than not going to require in the future, as a result of the accident. 
  • Funeral and burial costs: In wrongful death cases, the costs of the burial, casket, and other expenses associated with the funeral and burial.
  • Loss of household services in the past: The costs associated with taking care of the home, including  lawn work, laundry, transportation, and the other everyday costs of running the household. You can recover these costs if, due to your injury, you’re no longer able to perform these tasks on your own.
  • Loss of household services in the future: The costs associated with taking care of the home in the future, if you will not be able to do so as a result of your injury. 

What Are Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

Non-economic damages are the most important damages, but they can be very complex to calculate and prove. There’s no book that tells you what the numbers are, and you can’t add them up on a calculator. They are highly individualized, unique to every person, and designed to make up for the intangibles in life that we can’t reverse, restore, or fix.

Types of Non-Economic Damages: 

  •  Past pain and suffering: The physical pain and emotional suffering that you experienced since the time of the accident up through trial.
  • Future pain and suffering: The physical pain and emotional suffering that continues after your case is resolved.
  •  Past mental anguish: The disappointment, anger, resentment, embarrassment and other feelings that caused a substantial disruption in your daily routine or a high degree of distress since the accident.
  • Future mental anguish: The disappointment, anger, resentment, embarrassment, or other feelings that will continue to cause a substantial disruption in your daily routine or a high degree of distress after your case is resolved. 
  • Past physical impairment: The loss of enjoyment of life, including your ability to participate in sports, hobbies, or other activities you love, from the day of the accident through trial.
  • Future physical impairment: The loss of enjoyment of life, including your ability to participate in sports, hobbies, or other activities you love, that continues after the trial and for as long as you’re physically unable to do the things that brought you joy before the accident.  
  • Past physical disfigurement: These damages, unlike the others, are visible and can be seen by anyone around you. They include burns to your skin, scars from surgery, a limp when you walk, slurred speech, or hearing or vision problems from a brain injury. These damages compensate you for anything that changes or alters your appearance, your physical or cognitive performance or ability, or your sensory function.
  • Future physical disfigurement: These are just the same as past physical disfigurement damages, but are intended to compensate for having to live with the disfigurement or deficits in the future. 

What About Punitive Damages? 

Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages (also called exemplary damages) are awarded by judges or juries to punish or “make an example of” a defendant’s reckless and egregious conduct. These damages are typically only awarded when the defendant was “grossly negligent” and acted with malice, wantonness, or a total indifference to the consequences of their actions. 

For instance, if a company fails to use a piece of safety equipment knowing that someone could be seriously injured or killed without it, the company could be punished with punitive damages.

What Factors Affect The Amount of Damages I Can Recover?

There are a number of factors that can affect the amount of damages you can recover, including if you were partially at fault for the accident, your age, the amount of available insurance coverage, and the defendant’s ability to pay. 

But the truth is, the factors that affect the amount of recoverable damages begin the moment after an accident occurs.

  • How severe are your injuries? 
  • Were you employed at the time of the accident?  
  • Did you go to the ER and get released or did you have to spend weeks in the hospital? 
  • Did you heal on your own, or did you have to have surgery?
  • How much insurance coverage does the at-fault person or company have?

Those are all things an experienced personal injury attorney looks at when deciding how much to demand as damages in your personal injury lawsuit.

Why You Need an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney On Your Side

Hiring an experienced Houston personal injury attorney significantly increases your chances of recovering larger damages. 

Our team of personal injury attorneys will help you:

  • Receive the maximum compensation possible for your injuries and losses
  • Determine what evidence is important in your case 
  • Make sure you receive the best medical care 
  • Hire the best expert witnesses to prove and help the jury understand your physical and financial losses 

We spend a lot of time identifying and learning about your recoverable damages when we’re working on your case. We learn about you, your family, what you did before the accident, and what you wish you could still do but can’t anymore. Then we explain and quantify your losses for the jury at trial. 

We Put Our Clients, their Families, and their Futures First

Our clients are our top priority. We put you first, every time. We know that winning your case often determines if you have the ability to care for yourself and your family for the rest of your life.

And when the jury understands the value of what was taken from you, the law requires them to compensate you the one and only way our justice system allows – with money.

Money balances the scales of justice, deters reckless and unsafe conduct, and ensures that the company or person who caused the harm is held accountable for the consequences.

That’s why we always demand the maximum compensation possible for our clients. Approximately 90% of the time, the defendants agree to pay our demand and the case is settled. But if they refuse, we take the case to trial, where our lawyers remain undefeated.

From the largest verdicts and settlements in Texas to numerous $100 million + settlements, we’ve repeatedly demonstrated that we don’t just win for our clients – we set records.

Let Our Undefeated Personal Injury Lawyers Secure Your Future: Call 1-888-603-3636 or Click Here for a Free Consultation 

With Billions won for accident and wrongful death victims across Texas and the United States, our undefeated personal injury lawyers have the experience and resources needed to ensure that you and your family are fully compensated for your injuries and damages. 

Some of our recent record-breaking verdicts and settlement include:

If you or a loved one injured or tragically killed as a result of someone else’s reckless or negligent conduct, call 1-888-603-3636, use the “chat” button on our homepage, or send us a confidential email through our “Contact Us” form.  

All consultations are free, and you won’t pay us a dime unless we win your case. 

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