If you were injured in an accident and contemplating filing a civil lawsuit, you have probably heard the term “damages.”
Damages are the monetary remedy paid to an individual for their injury or loss.
In most cases, an accident victim will be entitled to damages for personal injuries.
There are three types of personal injury damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
Economic and non-economic damages are both compensatory in nature and are intended to compensate you for an injury you suffered as a result of an accident.
Punitive damages, on the other hand, punish and deter particularly wrongful behavior.
Economic damages are intended to cover actual, calculable costs you incurred as a result of your injuries. Common economic damages include:
- Medical bills. You can seek compensation for any medical costs related to the accident, including anticipated future medical bills.
- Lost wages. You can seek compensation for any lost wages as a result of your injury. Depending on the severity of your injury, this may include future lost wages if you are unable to earn what you were previously capable of. You may also pursue reimbursement for lost benefits such as a pension or other retirement benefits.
- Cost of repair or replacement of property. This may be the cost of replacing or repairing the vehicle damaged in a car accident or other property that was damaged.
- Lost value of household services. If you can no longer care for your children or keep up with housework due to your injury, you can recover the cost of hiring outside help.
Although the dollar amount will vary widely from case to case, it is easy to see how economic damages are calculated by adding up past, present, and future costs.
In Texas, a plaintiff may seek compensation for non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages refer to subjective or intangible losses. These are somewhat more difficult to quantify. The purpose of non-economic damages is to compensate you for the negative impact your injuries have had on your life.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of consortium;
- Disfigurement, and
- Loss of enjoyment of life.
Although it can be more challenging to assign a monetary value to non-economic damages because they are subjective and open to interpretation, a plaintiff is nevertheless entitled to them.
It is important to have a knowledgeable and experienced personal injury attorney advocating for you to ensure you receive these damages for your personal injuries.
Punitive damages differ from economic and non-economic damages because they are not compensatory in nature.
Rather, they are meant to punish a defendant for particularly egregious behavior. They are sometimes referred to as exemplary damages because they are used to make an example out of the defendant.
Punitive damages are awarded on a much more limited basis and only if the court finds that the defendant’s actions were especially malicious or grossly negligent.
Personal Injury Attorneys That Care
At Armstrong Lee & Baker LLP, our number one priority is our clients. We are committed to our client’s best interests.
That means whether we advocate fiercely at the negotiating table or take your case to the jury, we will not stop until you receive the best possible outcome for your case.