What Kinds of Damages Can I Recover After a Car Accident?

An automobile accident can inflict many tangible and intangible damages on you as a survivor. From serious personal injuries to expensive vehicle damages, a car accident in Texas could turn your life upside down. While a successful insurance claim or personal injury lawsuit cannot reverse all the damages from a car accident, it could pay you back for many losses. With an attorney’s assistance, you may be able to recover several types of non-economic and economic damages during your car accident claim.

Medical Bills and Future Health Care Expenses

All costs associated with your physical and mental healing, including doctor’s appointments, consultations with specialists, medical devices/accessories, medications, ambulance fees, physical therapy, cognitive therapy, treatments, surgeries, and live-in care. Your medical award could pay for past and future health care expenses related to your car accident injuries. If you have a permanent disability, it could reimburse you for foreseeable lifetime expenses.

You or your lawyer will need to prove the amount of your medical expenses with bills and statements from your provider. An insurance company may also ask for evidence of your personal injuries themselves, such as x-rays, test results or diagnostic reports. A medical expert’s testimony could also help you prove the extent of your injuries and your need for medical treatment.

Disability Expenses and Loss of Consortium

If a car accident gave you long-term or permanent disabilities, such as the loss of a bodily function, brain damage, or paralysis, you could recover the estimated lifetime costs associated with your injury. A medical expert can help you gauge the future foreseeable costs of your health care needs, occupational therapies, disability accommodations, and other expenses related to your disability. Then, a lawyer can help you demand a fair amount for your catastrophic and permanent injuries from the at-fault party. Your damage award could also include loss of consortium, or the loss of household services, care, guidance, companionship, and spousal consortium related to a disability.

Lost Wages and Lost Capacity to Earn

Many car accidents result in at least a few days of missed work while you are in the hospital and in recovery. Catastrophic injuries could result in longer leaves of absences, such as weeks or months off work. You may have to take a different job or reduce your work to part-time. A permanently disabling injury could take you out of work entirely. You may qualify for compensation for all your past and future lost wages, including the lost future capacity to earn due to a disability.

Out-of-Pocket Costs

Any out-of-pocket costs you encountered because of your auto accident could come back to you in the form of a settlement or judgment award. This may include vehicle damage repairs, totaled vehicle replacement, a rental car, travel expenses to and from doctor’s offices, legal fees, and court costs. You have the option to list any of your personal expenses related to the auto accident as part of your damage claim in Texas.

Pain and Suffering

Economic damages are not the only losses eligible for financial recovery in Texas. The civil justice system also allows you to seek restitution for your non-economic or intangible losses. These damages typically fall under the umbrella of pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can encompass physical discomfort, chronic pain, mental anguish, grief, bereavement, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder, psychological trauma, and lost quality of life.

Punitive Damages

It is not common, but some car accident cases also result in punitive damages. Punitive, or exemplary, damages are extra awards meant to punish an at-fault party for maliciousness, intent to harm, gross negligence, or recklessness. A judge has the power to grant punitive damages as he or she sees fit during a car accident claim. A judge may force a defendant to pay punitive damages for driving while intoxicated, for example, to serve as a lesson for other drivers in the community. Speak to a San Antonio car accident lawyer for an estimation of what your car accident case might be worth.

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