Damages are a remedy for an accident or personal injury. The court cannot undo what happened to you or the pain and suffering you experienced. However, it can hold the at-fault party legally responsible in the form of monetary compensation.
An experienced San Antonio personal injury lawyer will fight to get you a fair settlement. Continue reading to learn more about the economic damages you can seek in a Texas personal injury claim.
What Are Economic Damages in a Texas Personal Injury Claim?
Economic damages represent the financial losses incurred due to another party’s intentional torts or negligence. In most cases, an injured party is entitled to reimbursement for all economic damages. How much your claim is worth depends on many factors, including:
Cost of Medical Treatment
Medical bills and expenses are a large portion of economic damages.
They include, but are not limited to:
- Emergency room care
- Ambulance bills
- Urgent care facilities
- Physicians and specialists
- Lab and diagnostic tests
- Hospital bills
- Rehabilitation, including physical and occupational therapies
You must prove that the party’s conduct caused your injury. Therefore, you need medical records detailing your harm.
It is crucial to seek prompt medical treatment after an accident or injury. Delays in medical care could result in allegations that you failed to mitigate damages or that the accident did not cause your injury.
Cost of Personal Care
If you cannot perform household tasks or personal care because of your injury, you can seek reimbursement for paying someone to help you. For example, you might pay a cleaning service to clean your home. You might need to hire someone to help you bathe, change clothes, and go to the bathroom.
Loss of Income and Benefits
Lost wages are another substantial portion of economic damages.
Loss of income includes, but is not limited to:
- Overtime pay
- Vacation time
- Sick time
- Self-employed income
- Part-time work
You might also be entitled to compensation for loss of opportunities, such as bonuses and promotions. Keep detailed records of the time you miss from work. Evidence that helps prove loss of income claims includes copies of your tax returns, income statements, W2s, 1099s, and statements from your employer.
These expenses include payment for items and services you would not have incurred had it not been for your injury.
- Prescription drugs
- Over-the-counter medications
- Medical supplies, including bandages, slings, etc.
- Crutches, wheelchairs, walkers, bedside commode, and other medical equipment
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
- Accommodations to your home or vehicle because of a permanent impairment
Keeping careful records and copies of receipts, bills, and invoices is essential. Out-of-pocket expenses can total thousands of dollars. However, you must prove you incurred the expense, paid the cost, and the expense was necessary and reasonable.
Future Damages for Financial Losses
If you sustain a permanent disability or impairment, you might receive compensation for future damages, including:
- Diminished earning capacity
- Future lost wages
- Long-term nursing care
- Ongoing personal care
You need proof that your injury caused a permanent impairment. Because future damages could total millions of dollars over a person’s lifetime, insurance companies aggressively fight these claims.
An experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney will consult medical specialists, financial professionals, and other expert witnesses. They’ll obtain evidence and opinions to support a claim for future economic damages.
Contributory Fault and Economic Damages in Texas
Contributory fault is the legal theory that an injured victim should not receive compensation for their negligence in causing their injuries. In other words, if you are partially to blame for the cause of your injury, you should not receive the total value of your damages.
Texas adopted a modified comparative fault law. According to the proportionate responsibility statute, you cannot receive any money for your personal injury claim if you are more than 50% at fault for your injury.
However, if you are 50% or less at fault, you can receive compensation for some damages. Instead of receiving the total amount, your compensation is reduced by your level of fault.
For example, suppose a jury awards you $750,000 for your personal injury claim. However, the jurors find that you are 10% at fault for causing the car accident. Your award for damages would be reduced by $75,000 (10% of the award).
What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for Economic Damages in Texas?
Most personal injury claims must be filed within two years from the date of injury. Therefore, you must file a lawsuit within two years, or you’ll lose your right to pursue a legal claim.
There are exceptions to this rule. Examples include childhood injury cases, claims against government entities, and actions subject to the discovery rule. The best way to protect your rights is to talk to an injury lawyer as soon as possible.
Schedule a Free Consultation With a San Antonio Personal Injury Lawyer To Discuss Your Damages
You deserve to be compensated for all economic damages caused by another party’s negligence or wrongdoing. Contact us at George Salinas Injury Lawyers at (210) 225-0909 to schedule a free consultation. We are here to help you after a tragic accident or injury.