How much is your personal injury case worth?
TV commercials would have many of us believe that personal injury settlements are almost always large sums of money. However, Personal Injury claims are less about finances and more about preserving your rights. So many of our clients come to us after experiencing pain and suffering and then receiving little to no help from the responsible party’s insurance company. In the event of an injury resulting from someone else’s negligence, pursuing a personal injury claim may be the only way to recover the compensation you deserve and need to help you heal.
So, how do you evaluate the weight of your claim and file it? These are difficult tasks to handle on your own, and that’s why a skilled Dallas personal injury attorney can be so vitally important to helping you assess your claim’s worth.
In Texas, the Civil Practice and Remedies Code outlines the types of damages that may be incurred in a personal injury case. Types of damages may include:
- Economic damages – damages intended to compensate a claimant for actual economic or financial loss; the term does not include exemplary damages or noneconomic damages.
- Exemplary damages – any damages awarded as a penalty or by way of punishment but not for compensatory purposes. Exemplary damages are neither economic nor noneconomic damages. 'Exemplary damages' includes punitive damages.
- Compensatory damages – economic and noneconomic damages. The term does not include exemplary damages.
- Future damages – damages that are incurred after the date of the judgment. Future damages do not include exemplary damages.
- Future loss of earnings – a monetary loss incurred after the date of the judgment, including:
- loss of income, wages, or earning capacity; and
- loss of inheritance.
- Noneconomic damages – damages awarded for the purpose of compensating a claimant for physical pain and suffering, mental or emotional pain or anguish, loss of consortium, disfigurement, physical impairment, loss of companionship and society, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, injury to reputation, and all other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages.
Although a monetary recovery can’t undo the damage, pain and suffering caused by a severe injury, the law does provide injured parties the right to recover damages from those responsible. So, how should people evaluate the value of their case and whether it’s worth pursuing?
This is where you need the help of a skilled Dallas personal injury attorney to assess your case.
In any personal injury case, a claimant’s demand for a recovery must be reasonable in light of the severity and long-lasting impact of the injuries. For most personal injury claims, there are no caps on the amount that may be recovered. The only exception is medical malpractice claims which limit non-economic damages to $250,000. Dog bites, slip and fall, and premises liability cases carry no limit of what can be recovered. But in all cases, you must be able to prove damages, meaning you must be able to support the financial recovery you have demanded through medical bills and evidence of lost wages or other long-term impacts.
Many car accident cases settle for what are known as policy limits. In Texas, insured drivers are required to carry $30,000 in coverage and no more. If you receive in excess of $30,000 in settlement for a car accident injury, you’re doing well. If the damages resulting from an accident are in the ballpark of the defendant’s policy limits, the insurance company has a duty to act in good faith to protect their insured and not bet against them by refusing to settle for policy limits or another reasonable sum. This is another area where a personal injury attorney can provide guidance. Occasionally, cases will settle for more than policy limits, such as when insurance companies act in bad faith.
A good personal injury attorney will examine every aspect of the case to ensure that you get the compensation you deserve. Have you been recently injured in a car accident, slip and fall incident or other premises liability case? Bitten by a dangerous dog? If you’ve been hurt, we want to help. Give us a call to discuss your injuries and whether you have a case.