What is my personal injury case worth in Texas?

Texas Negligence Law and Recovering Compensation for your Injuries

Negligence is the legal term for carelessness. Under Texas law, people are required to maintain a certain level of care in their behavior. In certain situations they must be extra careful. There are many, but they include:

  • When the risk of injury is high (handling explosives)
  • When two people have a special relationship (doctor and patient)
  • When safety regulations require certain careful behavior (warning labels)

If you are harmed by another party’s negligence, you have the right to money for your property damage and bodily injuries. The person or company responsible for the accident must take steps (or pay money) necessary to put you in the position you were before the accident.

In legal terms, you have the right to be made whole. You are put back into the financial position you were in before the loss.

Different types of damages for negligence under Texas law

Economic damages

When you are harmed by a Texas auto accident, some of the harm can be repaired. These are generally known as economic damages:

Medical bills – If you have bills from a doctor or hospital, the person who caused the accident may have to pay for them.

Property damage – an auto mechanic can often repair the car. Even if the vehicle is totaled (damaged beyond repair), it can often be replaced.

Lost wages – If you miss work, the negligent person or company can pay for your lost wages.

Non-economic damages

Money can address some of your costs like medical bills or therapy.

But with bodily injuries and other losses, money may not really be enough to ‘make you whole’.

You may have permanent physical pain or damage. You may have mental anguish or trauma from the accident. You may be unable to work. In the worst cases, you may even have lost a loved one.

In these cases, the law tries to compensate you by assigning a dollar figure to the damages you suffered. This is not a perfect fix. It is the best that the law and society can come up with to make you whole under the circumstances.

Calculating your injuries in a negligence lawsuit in Texas

In any Texas personal injury lawsuit, the amount of damages must be calculated. The damages will depend on the circumstances of your case.

Calculating conomic damages

Under Texas law, personal injury cases are generally limited to:

  • Medical expenses
  • Lost wages
  • Pain and suffering

The first step is to find the total amount of your medical costs related to the injury. This is usually the amount of the medical bills and repair costs.

Calculating non-economic damages

In some cases, you can also recover damages for:

  • Wrongful death
  • Loss of companionship (e.g., a spouse that is paralyzed)
  • Emotional distress

To calculate pain and suffering or other damages, the total medical costs are usually multiplied by a number, generally between 1.5 and 5.

The number that is used varies depending on the circumstances of the injury.

For example, if your injuries were serious, the number used could be higher than 5. The amount of your lost wages is then added to that number. The result gives a starting number to begin settlement negotiations. If your case can be settled, you will not need to go to court.

Punitive damages under Texas Law (Exemplary damages)

When someone who caused an accident was particularly reckless, Texas laws sometimes require the person to pay additional money as a punishment.

These are often known as punitive damages, but in Texas they are called exemplary damages.

They are designed to prevent that person from being reckless again. They also make an example of that person, so that others know to act carefully. However, Texas law provides certain limits on exemplary damages.

Calculating what your case is worth is complex. If you or a loved one has been injured in an accident, call Justinian and Associates today.