Q: What types of damages may I receive if I am injured in a Texas car accident?
When you’ve been injured in a vehicle accident, you may be entitled to both compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are intended to replace money lost by collision victims due to the accident. Compensatory damages consist of both special damages and general damages.
Special, also known as economic, damages are the easiest types of damages to identify, since the compensation is for specific expenses. These damages may include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Loss of future income
General, or non-economic, damages are less tangible than special damages. A serious vehicle accident may result in pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium. Quantifying these types of damages is far more difficult than determining the value of special damages. Insurance companies typically use either the multiplier method or the per diem method.
- The multiplier method involves adding up all of the special damages and multiplying them by another number (the multiplier). The multiplier used depends on factors such as the seriousness of your injuries, the likelihood that you will completely recover, and the impact of your injuries on your life.
- The per diem method compensates you via a certain dollar amount that you will receive for every day you must live with the pain caused by your vehicle accident. Frequently, your actual daily earnings are used to calculate this amount. In this case, your daily pay is multiplied by the number of days you suffer from your injuries.
These damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly outrageous conduct, and to discourage him from ever behaving in the same manner again. In Texas, punitive damages are capped, and they are generally only awarded in those cases where the injured party can prove gross negligence or malice on the part of the defendant.
Determining a Settlement Amount
Determining a fair settlement amount can be challenging, and these types of cases frequently require the assistance of an experienced vehicle accident attorney. To learn more about what the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., can do for you, visit us on Facebook.