What Compensation Will I Be Entitled to Receive?
If you have been injured in an accident and are considering taking legal action, you are probably wondering what type of compensation you will be entitled to receive. In a personal injury case, the accident victim will file a lawsuit seeking to recover financial damages from the party or parties responsible for his or her injuries. The amount and types of damages that you will be able to recover in a personal injury case will depend upon the extent and nature of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding your claim. In Texas, damages in a personal injury case are generally classified into three categories: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive (exemplary) damages.
In a personal injury case, economic damages are designed to compensate the injured victim for his or her financial losses. Economic damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost income
- Loss of future earning capacity
- Damages to personal property
- Other financial losses attributable to your injuries
The medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses associated with an accident or injury can be staggering. Minor injuries can turn into major injuries that will have serious and long-lasting effects on your life. The skilled Houston personal injury attorneys at Morrow & Sheppard LLP can help you obtain a fair compensation award that will allow you to best deal with your economic losses today and well into the future.
Non-economic damages seek to compensate victims for their non-monetary losses. Non-economic damages consist of:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish and pain
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship and society
- Other types of non-pecuniary losses
Because these types of injuries are intangible and have no defined value, juries can often have a difficult time placing a dollar value on the precise amount of non-economic damages suffered.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can be invaluable in helping to determine your non-economic damages. Unlike your medical and hospital bills, the pain and suffering and mental anguish that you are suffering do not come with a bill or invoice. This is where experience comes into play – a lawyer with ample experience in handling personal injury claims will be familiar with settlements and verdicts in claims similar to your own. While every case is different and no attorney can guarantee the amount of your recovery, your attorney should be able to take you through the process so that you have a general sense of the compensation that you may be entitled to.
Punitive (Exemplary) Damages
In Texas, punitive damages are also known as “exemplary damages.” These damages serve as a penalty and are meant to punish the conduct of the responsible party. Punitive damages are generally awarded when the responsible party’s behavior is reckless or dangerous. These damages are not tied to your injury and they are above and beyond the actual losses you may have suffered.
If you have questions about punitive damages or economic or non-economic damage awards in your case, you should discuss your situation with the Houston lawyers at Morrow & Sheppard LPP who have extensive experience handling personal injury cases.