Can I get paid for time off work?

In many cases, yes.

Typical Damages in a Texas Personal Injury Lawsuit

Damages in a Texas personal injury case are aimed at returning injured victims as closely as possible to how they were before the accident. These are known as compensatory damages because they compensate the victim for actual losses.

General Damages vs Special Damages In A Texas Personal Injury Lawsuit

There are two types of compensatory damages (money payments) that an injured victim can receive in a personal injury lawsuit in Texas.

General Damages Are Typical Injuries in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

  • Physical Pain
  • Emotional Suffering
  • Mental Anguish
  • Lost Enjoyment of Life
  • Distress from Permanent Disabilities or Disfigurement

Special Damages Are Out-Of-Pocket Costs Particular to that Victim

In Texas, when you file a personal injury lawsuit against someone who has caused you harm, you have to explain and prove all the special damages you claim. If you have bodily injuries, you must show doctor’s bills that explain what you were treated for, and how much it cost. This might include:

  • Repair or Replacement of Damaged Property (for example, your car after an automobile accident)
  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation or Physical Therapy
  • Lost Wages or Regular Income

Lost Wages Under Texas Personal Injury Law

Most people don’t immediately think about their lost income after a serious injury. Healing is the priority. But obligations and bills can quickly build up. And in the months that follow an accident, many households face less income and more costs.

Even when it is clear that someone else’s carelessness caused your accident, you may be facing financial hardships. Many of our clients came to us after receiving insurance company settlement offers that wouldn’t even cover their medical bills.

Why Personal Injury Victims Are Entitled to Lost Wages Under Texas Law

Insurance companies and manufacturers are profit-driven enterprises. They are not good or bad. They are businesses.

But part of their business is trying to pay out as little money as possible when they settle a case. Lower settlements mean higher profits. It’s not personal.

That’s why you should take your time in considering a settlement offer. Does it include the wages you missed while getting medical treatment? Waiting for your vehicle to be repaired?

It’s important to understand that you are entitled to seek 100% of your lost wages following a personal injury. Why should you take a pay cut for something that wasn’t your fault?

How does Texas law calculate “lost wages” in a personal injury lawsuit?

What Can Be Included When Calculating Lost Wages in Texas

Under Texas law, lost wages can include any income that the victim would have earned had he or she not been injured. This can include:

  • Regular wages
  • Overtime
  • Missed Bonuses or Commissions
  • Expected Promotions or Raises
  • Vacation or Sick Time Accrual (not yet received or already accrued)

Proving Lost Wages in a Texas Personal Injury Lawsuit

You can make a claim for lost wages, regardless of how you earn your income.

Full-time, part-time, salaried, day rate and self-employed workers who are injured can all recover lost wages and income in a personal injury lawsuit under Texas law.

If you do not have pay stubs or other regular records, you can get a letter from your employer. The letter can explain your:

  • Position
  • Regular Working Hours
  • Salary / Hourly Wage
  • Number of Hours or Days Missed

Permanent Disability in a Texas Personal Injury Case

In the case of an accident that results in permanent disability, the injured party has the right to seek compensation for any income he or she might have earned based on future earning capacity. Future earning capacity is also referred to as:

  • Diminished earning capacity
  • Future loss of earnings
  • Impairment of earning power

Claims for loss of future earning capacity are not based on the victim’s actual earnings prior to the injury at all. They calculate how much the injured person could earn moving forward.

Determining one’s future earning capacity is a complex process. It often involves having an industry expert testify about how much the injured victim could realistically have earned. They take many factors into account, including:

  • Age
  • Skill Level
  • Life Expectancy
  • Usual Occupation
  • Wage Rates
  • Market Values

Your attorney will explain how these damages are determined in your specific situation, and will include them as part of the demand sent to the defendant.