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Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Claim

Posted By Aguirre Law | May 15 2024 | Personal Injury

Damages in a personal injury claim are the financial awards negotiated to compensate victims for losses incurred. The three types of damages in a Texas personal injury claim are economic, non-economic, and exemplary. Each type is available for proven claims but will vary according to the circumstances and facts of the situation.

Economic Damages

Section 41 of the Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code defines economic damages as compensating you for your pecuniary losses (i.e., out-of-pocket expenses), and it does not include non-enconmic or exemplary damages. Types of non-economic damages in a personal injury claim include:

  • Accident-related medical expenses
  • Future healthcare costs
  • Prescription drug costs
  • Medical travel costs
  • Lost wages
  • Future lost earnings capacity
  • Other economic damages

Every personal injury matter is unique, meaning that the recoverable economic damages in your case could be different. However, you have a right to compensation for the losses another person’s negligence caused you under Texas law. Ensure you keep all receipts and records of your accident so that you can provide proof of your out-of-pocket expenses to your San Antonio accident lawyer.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages are those that compensate victims for the emotional, mental, and social harm caused by the accident. Since they are non-tangible, as in, they do not come with a receipt, you may struggle to calculate how much your Texas personal injury case is worth.

Under Section 41.001, Texas civil laws will compensate you for the following non-economic damages:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental or emotional pain or anguish
  • Loss of consortium
  • Disfigurement
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of companionship and society
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Injury to reputation
  • Other nonpecuniary losses (except for exemplary damages)

Typically, non-economic damages are calculated using the multiplier method in which a multiplier between one and five is applied to economic damages according to the severity suffered. For example, suppose your economic damages total $100,000, and courts determine that your pain and suffering were severe but not the most severe and assign your case a multiplier or two. As such, your non-economic damages would total $200,000.

Other methods to calculate non-economic damages may be used for your situation, so get clarification from an attorney if you have questions.

Exemplary Damages

Exemplary damages, also known as punitive damages, allow personal injury victims to recover additional compensation if their accidents result from fraud, malice, or gross negligence. However, due to these cases’ unusual nature, courts rarely award exemplary damages under Texas Civil Practice & Remedies Code § 41.003. Most commonly, judges will order the payment of exemplary damages for product liability matters.

Calculating Personal Injury Damages in Texas

Personal injury damages are complicated to assess before consulting with an attorney. However, you can technically calculate them by totaling your recoverable economic, non-economic, and punitive damages. While this formula may sound straightforward, the truth is found in the details only a lawyer can assess.

Here is what we mean by that: you may have kept every receipt from your accident and have a total in mind, only to find out that the insurance company does not have to cover specific items it does not legally deem necessary. Plus, you might have also experienced a significant amount of pain and suffering. Still, it is challenging to quantify without legal advice.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

Do you want a personal injury attorney to evaluate your case? A San Antonio personal injury attorney from The Aguirre Law Firm will explain your options at no cost or obligation to hire. Schedule your free consultation with our legal team at (210) 922-0808 or fill out our contact form.

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