What damages can you recover in Texas if you are injured in a car accident?
Plaintiffs or the people injured in a car wreck can recover damages for past and future physical pain, past and future mental anguish, past and future disfigurement, past and future physical impairment, past and future medical expenses, past and future loss of earning capacity, loss of consortium and loss of services.
The jury has discretion to determine the amount of physical pain and mental anguish the plaintiff has suffered in the past or, within a reasonable probability, the amount of physical pain the plaintiff will suffer in the future.
Disfigurement is defined in the case of Goldman v. Torres, 341 S.W.2d 154, 160(Tex.1960) as that which impairs or injures the beauty, symmetry or appearance of a person or thing, or that which renders unsightly, misshapen, imperfect or deformed in some manner. A very common form of disfigurement is scarring but may include any of the aforementioned.
Physical impairment is defined in the case of Golden Eagle Archery, Inc. v. Jackson, 116 S.W.3d 757, 766 (Tex.2003) as loss of enjoyment of life and includes the inability to participate in sports, hobbies or other recreational activities.
A plaintiff must show that past medical expenses were reasonable and necessary and were paid by the plaintiff or on the plaintiff’s behalf. A plaintiff must show there is a reasonable probability that future medical expenses resulting from the injury will be incurred.
Loss of earning capacity in the past and future can be proved by a plaintiff by establishing a monetary value of the plaintiff’s earning capacity and how that capacity has been and will continue to be affected by the injury.
Finally, loss of consortium, which is often a derivative claim of the spouse of the injured person, is based on the loss of love, affection and companionship a person experiences as a result of a family member’s injury and loss of services refers to the loss of household and domestic duties which were performed by the injured person that he or she can no longer perform.
Plaintiffs can recover damages for the loss or reduction of their vehicle’s value. Value is determined by what the market value of the property is, meaning what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller. Market value is determined by the value of the property immediately before and immediately following the damage and must be determined in the county in which the vehicle was damaged.
If you have more questions about what you can recover if you were injured in a car accident, please go to our website to learn more about your damages: http://bristoldubiel.com/faq-auto-accidents or contact Murray L. Bristol at 214.880.9988 for a free consultation.