If you have been injured in an accident caused by the negligence of another, you can bring a personal injury lawsuit against the person, persons or company that is responsible for the accident. When filing a personal injury claim, you may be wondering how much it is worth. The answer to this question varies from case to case, and will depend largely on the nature of your accident, as well as the extent of your injuries. Below, we discuss the different types of damage awards in personal injury claims, as well as factors that can affect the amount of compensation you can receive.
Personal injury lawsuits can cover damages suffered due to a car accident, truck accident, bus accident, oil and gas related accident and more. For more information regarding personal injury claims, speak with an experienced Texas personal injury lawyer from Hill Law Firm.
Special damages refer to the quantifiable losses incurred due to an accident. These are easily calculable based on any receipts, record, pay stubs or other documentation relating to expenses paid as a result of your accident.
- Medical expenses – Reimbursement for treatment already received, and compensation for the estimated cost of medical care needed in the future.
- Lost wages – Compensation for the impact the accident had on salary and wages; not just income already lost but also the money that could have been made in the future, were it not for the accident.
- Property damage – Reimbursement for repairs or compensation for the fair market value of property that was lost as a result of the accident, such as vehicles or clothing.
General damages are non-quantifiable losses that are more difficult to place a dollar value on than special damages, but are still essential in a personal injury claim.
- Pain and suffering – Compensation for pain and/or serious discomfort sustained during the accident and in its immediate aftermath, and for ongoing pain that is a result of to the accident.
- Emotional distress – Compensation for the psychological impact of an injury, which can include fear, sleep loss and anxiety.
- Loss of enjoyment – Compensation for injuries caused by an accident that keep a person from enjoying day-to-day pursuits like hobbies, exercise and other recreational activities.
- Loss of consortium – Compensation for the impact injuries have on the relationship with a spouse. Some states also consider the separate impact on the relationship between a parent and their child. In some cases, loss of consortium damages are awarded directly to the affected family member rather than to the injured plaintiff.
Punitive damages are meant to punish a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit due to his or her particularly egregious negligent behavior. These types of damages are meant to act as a deterrent, as well as to award the victim in the event of an especially serious accident.
The amount a person can receive in a personal injury claim can be impacted if the victim was partially responsible for the accident. The State of Texas follows a modified comparative negligence rule. This means that an injured plaintiff can collect compensation from other at-fault parties as long as the he or she was less than 50 percent responsible for the accident. For example, if you are injured in an accident that resulted in $1,000 worth of medical treatment, and are found 10% responsible for causing the accident, you may only receive $900 in damages.
How Insurance Companies Calculate Damages
Insurance companies are able to easily add up any special damages in a personal injury claim. However, because calculating general damages can be difficult, insurance adjusters use a formula to determine what they believe fair compensation will be. Depending on the nature of the accident and the extent of the injuries suffered, insurance adjusters will multiply the amount of your medical expenses by a number ranging from 1.5 to 5. They will then add in lost income. The insurance adjuster will also deduct a percentage if you are found partially responsible for your accident. It is important to note that the number presented by an insurance adjuster is not the final offer of compensation. Rather, it can be used as the number from which our negotiations will begin.
Texas Personal Injury Attorney
No matter the cause of your accident, if negligence was involved you may be eligible for compensation. For more information regarding your rights following an accident in Houston, San Antonio or anywhere in the great state of Texas, contact the experienced San Antonio personal injury attorney at Hill Law Firm – (210) 960-3939.