Types of Compensation in Texas Car Accident Lawsuits
After a serious car accident, victims face medical bills, as well as losses from damage to their car, time away from work and other causes. A proper insurance settlement should pay your expenses and losses, up to the limits of the policy. If another driver’s negligence or recklessness caused your accident, you have a right to compensation from them for your monetary losses and more.
The Bob Richardson Law Firm can help you to seek a recovery after you have been injured in a car accident through no fault of your own in Austin, Waco and surrounding areas of Texas. We have more than 30 years of experience helping car accident victims and their families with personal injury and wrongful death claims.
For a free claim review, call us now or fill out our online contact form. We won’t charge for our services unless we recover for you.
Economic & Non-Economic Damages in Car Accidents
A personal injury or wrongful death claim in Texas must show that the defendant was reckless or negligent, and that the defendant’s actions or inaction caused harm to the plaintiff. Such a claim may demand specific compensation for economic damages that include:
- Medical expenses
- Property damage
- Lost income
- Funeral and burial expenses (for a wrongful death)
A lawsuit’s calculation of medical expenses and lost income should take future costs and losses into consideration. Serious injuries may require ongoing medical treatment. A disability may require continuing care or be expected to result in an eventual decline in health that will result in additional medical treatment or need for assistive devices, such as a wheelchair or breathing assistance.
Accident victims with partial disabilities may suffer income losses in the future because they will earn less than they could prior to the car accident. Depending on the accident victim’s job, demands for lost income should account for potential raises, promotions, commissions, bonuses and the value of fringe benefits, including retirement contributions based on salary.
Personal injury and wrongful death claims may also seek compensation for:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of care and companionship, consortium, parental guidance, etc. (in a wrongful death)
- Punitive damages for egregious conduct
Typically the jury in a personal injury or wrongful death case determines the amount to be awarded for each of these non-economic damages. An insurance company may also include non-economic damages in a settlement offer.
Non-economic damages are sometimes based on a multiplier of the medical expenses.
Punitive damages, also called “exemplary damages,” are meant to punish gross negligence or malice and to encourage the defendant to behave differently in the future. A jury sets the amount of punitive damages, but in Texas they are capped.
Texas law says exemplary damages should be set at two times the amount of economic damages, plus an amount equal to any non-economic damages found by the jury – not to exceed $750,000 – or $200,000. In some cases a jury may award more to make a statement, but the amount will be reduced by the court.
Contact a Texas Car Accident Lawyer
Who can file a wrongful death lawsuit in Texas? At The Bob Richardson Law Firm, we seek all available compensation for our car accident clients. We accomplish this by thoroughly investigating accidents, calculating all economic losses and negotiating or presenting court cases from a position of strength.
We can also pursue compensation from additional parties responsible for car accidents, such as manufacturers of faulty products or through dram shop / social host liability for drunk driving accidents, for example.
We have helped car accident victims and their families throughout Austin, Waco and surrounding Texas communities for more than 30 years. We are ready to help you, too.
Call us or contact us online for a free discussion about your case today.