The Types of Losses You Can Recover after a Crash
You’ve been hurt in a wreck and it turns out the at-fault driver was under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. What types of losses can you expect to recover in a personal injury lawsuit?
The Damages Available in Any Type of Personal Injury Claim
When you have been involved in any type of accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another person, you have a right to seek full and fair compensation for any and all losses reasonably related to or caused by the accident. Those losses are generally referred to under the law as “economic” and “non-economic” damages.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages are generally losses that represent an easily calculated monetary or financial loss. The common economic damages include:
- Lost wages or income—If your injuries prevent you from working, now or in the future, you have a right to ask the defendant (person who caused the accident) to reimburse you for any wages you could not earn because of your injuries. If you won’t ever be able to work again, you can typically have the total amount of damages calculated based on a reasonable age of retirement, often with inflation and anticipated wage increases factored into the equation.
- Unreimbursed medical expenses—If your medical bills are paid for by insurance, through workers’ compensation or are otherwise paid, you cannot claim them in a personal injury lawsuit—the law does not allow you to recover twice for the same loss. However, any treatment that you require because of the accident that will have to be paid for out of your own pocket can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit.
- Property damage or loss—If your car is totaled or diminished in value because of someone else’s wrongful act, or you suffer any type property loss in an accident, you can recover the full amount of your losses.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are generally less tangible, but represent a loss or change in your life because of the accident. Non-economic damages are often difficult to calculate and different courts use different approaches. Some will simply defer to the jury to determine a “reasonable” damage award, whereas others may use a “multiplier,” where the amount of economic damages is multiplied by some factor, often based on the severity of the injury.
The types of non-economic damages available in any personal injury case, including drunk-driving accidents, include:
- Compensation for pain and suffering—This can include both physical pain and suffering and emotional distress
- Compensation for loss of companionship or consortium—A personal injury can often have a detrimental impact on your ability to experience and enjoy close personal relationships with family, including spouses.
- Compensation of loss of enjoyment of life—These damages may be available if the accident makes it difficult to engage in the ordinary activities of daily life, or if your injury prevents you from doing some of the things you loved to do before the accident
Contact the Experienced Drunk Driving Accident Attorneys at Bailey & Galyen
At the law offices of Bailey & Galyen, we have more than 40 years of experience successfully representing victims of personal injury in Texas. We know how to fully protect your rights when you have been involved in any type of motor vehicle accident, including a crash caused by an impaired driver. We are seasoned trial lawyers who can anticipate the tactics of defense counsel and take preemptive measures to help you pursue full and fair compensation for all your losses. Contact us by e-mail or 844-402-2992 call our offices at one of the convenient locations listed below. Our phones are answered 24 hours a day, seven days a week.