When considering initiating a personal injury claim, the thought on the mind of the injured party general centers around possible economic compensation at the outcome of the case. The injured party most likely has significant medical bills to cover, may have suffered emotionally, and might have even missed time from work due to the injuries. In light of this, the injured party, or plaintiff in the case, is often concerned with how much money they will be able to secure in order to make them whole again.
Of course, the actual amounts will generally differ on a case-by-case basis, but there are certain types of damage awards that are similar throughout most lawsuits. The following provides a list of award types that may be available to the plaintiff, as well as how much your personal injury case could be worth if you have sustained serious injuries.
Virtually all successful personal injury claims will result in the plaintiff being awarded some amount of compensatory damages, which are meant to make the plaintiff whole as a person once again. A plaintiff may be awarded compensatory damages for a number of reasons.
Some of the common types of compensatory damages include:
- Lost wages – These may be awarded if a plaintiff was forced to spend time away from work while recovering.
- Future lost wages – These are meant to compensate a plaintiff if they cannot return to work due to the injuries sustained.
- Medical bills – A plaintiff may be awarded money to cover the costs of medical treatment.
- Pain and suffering – These awards are meant to compensate the plaintiff for pain and suffering experienced both during and after the injury occurred.
- Emotional distress – Awards may arise if a plaintiff experienced significant emotional trauma as a result of the accident.
- Loss of consortium – These damages are generally provided if the injury seriously affected the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse.
This is not an exhaustive list, as there are a variety of other types of damages available, depending on the specifics of the case.
In some circumstances, if the actions taken by the defendant were particularly egregious or extremely careless, punitive damages may be awarded to the defendant. Punitive damages are different than compensatory damages though in that instead of making the plaintiff whole again, they are meant to act as a punishment to the defendant to ensure that this type of action or negligence does not occur again in the future. The amount of punitive damages may not exceed certain limits, as provided by Texas Civil Practice Remedies and Code § 41, although there are certain exceptions, depending on the nature of the action.
Understanding Fault in a Personal Injury Case
In order to accurately weigh the value of your personal injury case, beyond examining the actions of the party liable for the injury, you must also take note of any actions that you performed that could have contributed as well. Texas follows a system of modified comparative fault when determining damage awards in personal injury claims, which is governed by Texas Civil Practice Remedies and Code § 33. This ultimately means that if a plaintiff is deemed to be 51 percent or more at fault for their own injuries, they will then be barred from recovering compensation.
An Attorney Can Help You Recover What You Deserve
If you have sustained injuries due to someone else’s actions or negligence, it is imperative that you contact an experienced legal professional in Texas immediately. The defendant, or defendant’s insurance company, in your case may attempt to shirk responsibility at all costs, or may do anything to demonstrate that you were more than 51 percent at fault, thus disqualifying you from being awarded damages. If you’ve been injured by someone’s negligent actions contact Tate Law Offices today by calling 888-769-1086 for a free case review.