When you are injured in an accident that was not your fault, the resulting compensation will be calculated by looking at a number of different categories that are meant to summarize how the accident impacted your life. These categories are known as ‘damages.’
Personal injury damages will differ depending on the type, severity, and consequences of the accident. Generally speaking, the more severely the person was injured, and the more that the injured person’s life has been impacted, the greater the total damages that they will be entitled to recover.
To maximize their compensation, personal injury victims should be represented by an experienced attorney. To find out how we could help maximize your personal injury damages, call today for a free legal consultation at no obligation, at 713-535-9319.
Almost all types of personal injury cases, from a car accident to a surgical treatment mistake, will involve the necessity of medical care, which can be very expensive.
Thankfully, your personal injury lawyer can help you seek compensation for the cost of your medical care that was related to the accident – whether it was an ambulance ride, check-up, or surgical procedure.
Future Medical Expenses
Personal injury cases do not just allow you to recover medical bills that you have already incurred, but they also allow you to recover the future costs of your treatment.
Claims to recover lost wages are also a common part of personal injury lawsuits.
Lost wages are a form of damages that refers to the financial impact of a bodily injury or pain that keeps you from attending work as normal. For example, if you suffered a broken leg in a slip and fall accident due to the negligence of the property owners, you may not be able to perform your usual job duties and have to take time off instead.
Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering compensatory damages in personal injury lawsuits provide money for the injured party based on their recovery time, the pain level involved in the process, and whether they suffered any life-altering complications.
Life-altering complications can include:
How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
Pain and suffering damages are calculated first by looking at the specific monetary value of your economic damages. These economic damages are then subjected to something called the multiplier method, which takes into account non-economic damages.
To calculate your total economic damages, the following factors will be looked at:
- The cost of any medical attention needed, including in the future
- Any income lost as a result of the accident
- Additional costs caused by the accident, such as childcare or transport costs that would not have been necessary otherwise
Once a figure has been reached for your economic damages, you will be assigned a number between one and five, based on the extent of your non-economic damages. One refers to minor injuries caused by the accident, like bruising or minor lacerations. Five refers to the most serious injuries, like significant internal trauma or spinal injuries.
Your economic damage figure will then be multiplied by this number, giving you the final figure for the pain and suffering damage award. However, this method is not always an exact science.
Out-of-pocket damages will largely vary based on your personal circumstances, the facts of your accident, and the complications you suffered as a result.
For example, you may now be unable to care for your children as before, and require the assistance of a nanny. Or you may have depended on being able to drive to and from work or appointments, but your injuries may prevent this, causing you to spend on taxis or public transport.
Mental Anguish Compensation
As well as physical pain and suffering, you can also claim for mental pain and emotional distress that resulted from your accident.
Emotional pain of this type can include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Sexual dysfunction
- Sleep disorders, such as insomnia or night terrors
As all human psyches and accident situations are different, emotional anguish will vary on a case-by-case basis.
If you have any questions, feel free to call our law firm for a free consultation. All of your sensitive details will be protected by the confidential relationship between you and your attorney.
The Difficulties of Claiming for Mental Anguish
Unfortunately, claiming for emotional anguish is usually much more difficult than claiming for physical pain and suffering damages.
This is because these impacts are generally more subjective and difficult to prove. Unlike with physical injuries, where an x-ray could be used as solid evidence of a broken bone, mental complications and trauma from an accident can be more difficult to pin down and prove.
However, there is hope, an experienced personal injury could win you compensation of this type.
Punitive damages are awarded when a personal injury plaintiff is a victim of somebody else’s negligence in a particularly egregious way, namely through gross negligence.
You would not normally fight for punitive damages while negotiating your settlement with an insurance company. However, punitive damages may be ordered by a judge if your case goes to court and you win.
Loss of Future Earning Potential
The complications as the result of your accident may mean you are unable to return to work in the same capacity as before. You may have chronic pain, a physical disability, or your mental anguish may prevent you from working as you did before, or even at all.
In these scenarios, your lawyer can fight for you to be awarded compensation for this loss of future earning potential.
Loss of Household Services
These damages are awarded when a spouse is injured and can no longer continue performing household services that were their usual role in the marriage.
This can apply to gardening, cleaning, repairing appliances, or other things of this nature. Often, the ease of receiving compensation depends on the activity’s approximate cost being easy to calculate. More difficult cases often require expert witnesses.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium damages are compensation for the family members of the victim of a personal injury case, usually when the injury is particularly serious or grave. These damages are specifically for spouses, parents, and children.
Between spouses, this covers things like loss of love, companionship, assistance, sexual relationships, emotional support, and overall marital relations. Between children, it covers things like love, instruction, guidance, and encouragement.
Wrongful Death Claims
Like loss of consortium, wrongful death damages are for the family members of the deceased victim of a personal injury.
Wrongful death claims in Texas include considerations for:
- Lost inheritance
- Lost care, support, and household earning capacity
- Mental pain for the grieving family
Who Can Make a Wrongful Death Claim?
Only certain parties can file a wrongful death claim.
In Texas, this is the spouse, children, and parents – as with loss on consortium. This means that siblings and other people with close relationships to a personal injury victim will not be considered for these damages.
Which of the Categories Above Apply to My Personal Injury Case?
Some categories should be easy to figure out. For example, if you have spent money on medical bills, you are likely to have a case for compensation in this category.
More intricate damage types, like pain and suffering, emotional pain, and even property damage, can be harder to tell from a non-professional perspective. Thankfully, you can call our law firm today for a free consultation, where we will tell you which damages you are likely to be entitled to.
How Expert Witnesses Work in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
An expert witness is not like a regular witness, i.e., someone who saw your injury or the effects it had on you.
Instead, expert witnesses are experienced professionals called in to use their specific knowledge to pass judgment on evidence. The type of expert will vary depending on your case. For example, medical malpractice victims may benefit from an expert surgeon’s opinion.
Protecting the Value of Your Personal Injury Claim
Many people are tricked by misguided ideas that insurance companies are on their side. They are not. Insurance companies are for-profit businesses, hoping to maximize their bottom line by paying you the lowest amount possible.
Never speak to an insurance company before consulting your lawyer. They may trick you into disclosing unnecessary information, signing documents, or agreeing to a recorded interview. All of these can act as evidence later to weaken your position.
How Long You Have to Make a Personal Injury Claim
In Texas, all claims must be made within a certain period in order to qualify for compensation.
This is called the statute of limitations, and it lasts two years. The timer begins on the day your accident occurred.
We Work on a Contingency Basis
Here at Abraham Watkins, we are committed to ensuring everyone has access to a professional legal team when they are involved in an accident that is not their fault.
That is why all our personal injury lawyer work is no-win-no-fee. If your case is unsuccessful for whatever reason, it will cost you nothing. If you are successful, all fees will be taken as a percentage of the final settlement, with no upfront costs or nasty surprises.
Call Abraham Watkins Today
Our firm has existed for over 70 years fighting for our clients’ rights to the damages listed above.
If you would like to hear about how we could help you, call us today for a free consultation at 713-535-9319. Your free evaluation will be entirely confidential.