You may encounter many terms you are unfamiliar with during a personal injury case in Texas, including economic damages. Economic damages refer to the real, specific losses you suffered financially because of your accident and injuries.
The term is also used to describe the financial compensation available for these losses.
Economic Damages vs. Noneconomic Damages in a Personal Injury Case
In personal injury law, there are two types of awards available to a plaintiff who has filed a lawsuit with the courts. The first is compensatory damages. Compensatory damages aim to make a victim whole again by allowing him or her to collect money for past and future losses.
There are two categories of compensatory damages: economic and noneconomic.
Economic damages are awarded to reimburse a victim for the actual financial losses connected to an accident and injury. They are often proven using bills and receipts related to the victim’s medical care, missed time at work, and other financial losses.
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are meant to make up for the victim’s intangible losses, such as depression, emotional distress, mental anguish, or post-traumatic stress disorder.
The other type of damage award available during a personal injury lawsuit in Texas is punitive damages. Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are only awarded if there is proof that the defendant committed a particularly heinous type of wrongdoing, such as an act of gross negligence or malicious intent to harm the plaintiff.
If awarded, a victim can receive punitive damages on top of being fully reimbursed by compensatory damages.
What Are Examples of Economic Damages?
When pursuing financial compensation from one or more parties in Texas, you or your personal injury attorney must establish which economic damages you suffered and how much money you spent because of your injuries in total.
This requires creating a list of all of your past and future economic damages to calculate the total.
Examples of economic damages include:
- Past and future necessary medical care, including medications, physical therapy, and rehabilitation
- Disability costs, accommodations, and medical devices
- Lost wages and benefits related to the victim’s employment
- Lost future capacity to earn
- The costs of repairing or replacing the victim’s damaged property
- Rental car, hotel, or travel costs associated with the accident
- Any other out-of-pocket costs, including legal fees
Any money the victim spent or lost because of the accident – directly or indirectly – can become part of a claim to economic damages in Texas. An attorney can analyze your case and help you create a comprehensive list of your economic and noneconomic losses.
Then, your lawyer can help you submit a demand letter to the correct insurance company and help you negotiate for maximum financial compensation.
How Are Economic Damages Calculated?
You can receive an economic damage award through either a personal injury settlement or a lawsuit in the San Antonio courts. Settlements are more common; however, you may need to file a lawsuit if an insurance company refuses to offer a settlement that adequately reimburses you for your losses.
An attorney can help you choose which legal route is best for you.
With an insurance claim, the insurance company will thoroughly investigate your accident and request evidence that supports the amount you are seeking in damages. This evidence usually includes paperwork, such as printed documents from your workplace or the hospital proving your financial losses.
If your case goes to trial, a jury will award you economic damages based on the same types of evidence, as well as how much money you will spend in foreseeable costs.
It is important to speak to a personal injury attorney in San Antonio before settling your personal injury case. Accepting a settlement without a legal review could put you at risk of saying yes to an inadequate amount.
A personal injury attorney in Texas can help you file a claim to economic damages that is fair and full according to your family’s monetary losses. A lawyer will fight for maximum recovery on your behalf.
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