You have been in an auto injury and had an ambulance take you to a hospital. You were admitted to the hospital for several days, and then treated as an outpatient for several months. You have had multiple physical therapy appointments. In the months that it took you to recover, you have lost income from work. You have been in extraordinary pain for months and may even need future surgery. You have been unable to contribute to your household chores like you used to and needless to say, you have been unable to enjoy your spare time with the family outdoors like walking your dog, playing with your kids and enjoying date nights with your spouse.
What, if anything, is the party who is at fault in causing the accident, liable to compensate you for?
In personal injury claims, the recoverable damage model can be divided into economic losses and non-economic losses. Economic losses are those that can be computed in dollar amounts, for eg. medical bills.
As actually incurred medical expenses, whether covered by insurance or not, can be accounted for in dollar amounts, these are recoverable as economic damages. Similarly, if you were working at the time of the accident, your hourly or salaried pay that you lost over the period of your recovery, can typically be recovered on an after tax, dollar for dollar basis.
Non-economic losses are typically those that you cannot account for in dollar amounts and are harder to calculate. For instance, the degree of pain that you suffered at the time of impact, that you endured during the recovery phase, and that you continue to experience on a daily basis, which you did not experience prior to the accident. You can also factor into this aspect of damages, whether you made a full recovery and/or whether the accident left you with any visible scar or disfigurement. Non-economic damages also allow an injured party compensation for the loss of enjoyment in their life, for instance being unable to play basketball or golf for leisure, being unable to ambulate and therefore unable to take the kids to the playground, and any other form of emotional or psychological distress. In a suit that was litigated, the spouse of the injured party could also make a claim for loss of intimacy in marriage and a loss of household services. In some fairly extraordinary circumstances, where it can be shown that the accident was deliberately caused by the faulting party, a court may order additional amounts in damages, as a penalty to be paid by the party at fault.
The role of a personal injury attorney
A good local personal injury attorney can help you decipher and obtain the damages that you are eligible for. In the Central Texas area, the Ted Smith Law Group provides personal injury services. Do not hesitate to contact us for more information.