Economic Damages

Damages are the remedy a court grants in a personal injury case. The court cannot undo the harm caused by a negligent party. However, it can hold that party financially liable for the losses and harm the victim sustains.

Economic damages are a form of compensatory damages. These damages compensate you for the expense, costs, and financial losses associated with your accident and personal injury. 

Examples of economic damages in a Dallas personal injury case include, but are not limited to:

Medical Bills and Expenses 

Medical Bills and Expenses 

The cost of diagnosing and treating your injuries is usually one of the most significant damages in a personal injury case. Depending on the severity and type of your injuries, the medical bills could total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Examples of medical bills included in economic damages are:

  • Ambulance services
  • Emergency room fees
  • Hospital costs
  • Surgeries
  • Physicians and medical specialists
  • Urgent care facilities
  • Diagnostic and lab tests
  • Rehabilitation, including occupational and physical therapies
  • Counseling and therapy

Seeking immediate medical treatment after an injury or accident helps your case. The defense can use delays in medical care to allege the accident did not cause your injury. For example, the defense might claim that your injuries are not as severe as you claim because you did not see a doctor right after the accident. 

Personal Care and Household Assistance

Some accidents cause injuries that prevent a person from caring for themselves and their home. In those cases, you can include costs of personal care and household assistance as economic damages.

Personal care can include in-home nurses and assistants to help you bathe, dress, and feed yourself. The cost of home cleaning services and someone to prepare meals could also be included in damages. 

Out-of-Pocket Expenses 

Costs and losses that do not fall into one of the other categories of economic damages are included as out-of-pocket expenses. Examples of out-of-pocket costs that an injury victim might incur are:

  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
  • Prescription medications and over-the-counter drugs
  • Wheelchairs, crutches, bedside toilets, walkers, and other medical equipment
  • Medical supplies
  • Accommodations to a home or vehicle because of a permanent impairment

Out-of-pocket expenses could total thousands of dollars. Keep detailed records of your expenses, including copies of invoices, bills, and receipts. You might need to prove that the cost was reasonable and necessary.

Loss of Income and Benefits 

If you cannot work because of your injuries, you can include your lost wages and other income in a claim for economic damages. Loss of income can include:

  • Salaries
  • Wages
  • Overtime pay
  • Commissions
  • Bonuses
  • Part-time employment
  • Sick time
  • Vacation time
  • Self-employed income

Evidence of a loss of income can include copies of your tax returns, income statements, 1099s, and W2s. In some cases, you might need a statement from your employer detailing what you would have earned had you been able to work after the accident. Also, you need medical records proving your injuries prevented you from returning to work. 

Future Economic Damages 

If you sustain a disability or permanent impairment because of the accident, you might be entitled to future damages. These damages compensate you for the ongoing loss of income, medical treatment, and personal care. You might also be entitled to compensation for diminished earning capacity. 

How Do Texas Contributory Fault Laws Impact Awards for Economic Damages?

In a few states, being partially to blame for the cause of your injury would bar you from receiving any money for your claim. You could be just 5% to blame and receive nothing for damages. 

The Texas proportionate responsibility law sets a 51% bar for contributory fault. Therefore, if your level of fault is below 51%, you can still receive some money for your economic damages in a personal injury case. However, your damages will be reduced by your level of fault. 

For instance, suppose a jury decides that you were 10% to blame for the cause of your car accident. The jurors award you $300,000 in damages. In that case, you would only receive $270,000 for your claim. The compensation is reduced by $30,000 or 10% for contributory fault

Insurance adjusters often use allegations of contributory fault as justification to lower the value of economic damages. Before you make a statement or talk with an insurance company, talk to an experienced Dallas accident lawyer. 

What Is the Deadline for Filing Claims for Economic Damages in Texas?

All personal injury cases have a deadline for filing lawsuits. Typically, the statute of limitations for most personal injury cases is two years from the injury date. 

However, exceptions to the statute of limitations could shorten your time to file a claim. Therefore, please do not delay contacting our office for a free case review from an attorney. 

Contact Us for a Free Consultation with a Dallas Personal Injury Lawyer

At The Jay Murray Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team pursues all forms of compensation for your personal injury claim. We believe you deserve a fair settlement and fight to get you what you deserve. Call our law office to schedule your free case evaluation with an experienced Dallas personal injury attorney at (214) 855-1420