Getting hurt in an accident–whether it’s a crash on the highway, a slip and fall in a store, or an incident with a defective and dangerous product—can be scary and painful. Unfortunately, it can also be extremely expensive. If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in Texas, you may already know from first-hand experience just how costly it can be to get hurt as the result of someone else’s carelessness. You may be considering taking legal action based on your injuries, but wondering what sorts of compensation are available to you through a lawsuit. Read on to learn about the types of money damages available through a Texas personal injury claim, and contact a Houston personal injury lawyer for more information.
There are two main categories of damages in a personal injury lawsuit: economic and non-economic, also known as general and special damages, respectively.
These damages include compensation for actual losses suffered by you and your family. Typically, economic damages have an objective monetary value, often one that can be shown with a receipt or paystub. They include:
- Medical expenses: Even if you have health insurance, medical care is costly. If you or your loved one has been seriously injured, you may be facing thousands of dollars in future expenses, as well, encompassing the costs of future treatments, in-home care, and medical equipment.
- Lost past and future earnings: Serious injuries may rob someone not only of their physical health, but also of their professional livelihood. Lost earnings damages can compensate an accident victim for both the amount of time they were forced to miss work after an accident, as well as for any long-term or permanent physical impairments that will impact their ability to return to their profession.
Serious accidents can be traumatic for both your mind and your body. Non-economic damages provide compensation for the types of losses that don’t have an easily-measured monetary value, but which are nevertheless painful injuries that accident victims suffered due to someone else’s actions. These include:
- Pain and suffering: No amount of money can undo the searing pain of a major injury, but these damages seek to offer some comfort by compensating victims for the physical pain they’ve endured.
- Mental anguish: When an accident victim was forced to witness something truly traumatic and disturbing, such as the violent injury of a loved one, mental anguish damages may be available.
- Disfigurement: Injuries that alter a victim’s physical appearance may not be more painful to undergo, but they can alter a victim’s ability to lead a normal life. Disfigurement damages provide compensation for these types of injuries.
- Physical impairment: There are many ways that we use our bodies to enrich our lives aside from how we earn a living. When an injury robs a victim of their ability to engage in a physical activity they once loved, whether it’s a sport or hobby such as painting or photography, that victim may seek compensation for the loss in the form of physical impairment damages.