The value of a Waco personal injury claim is ultimately based on the damages a victim may receive. Legally speaking, the term “damages” refers to money claimed by a victim, or conversely, the amount of money ordered to be paid to a person as injury compensation. Texas law recognizes two distinct classes of damages in a personal injury matter: General Damages and Special Damages.
General damages, or sometimes referred to as non-economic damages, are used to quantify a loss that does not have a tangible value associated with it. These damages are subjective in nature and vary depending on the situation and the person claiming them.
A few examples of General Damages are:
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Suffering
- Loss of Consortium
- Physical Impairment
- Injury to Reputation
Regarding the aforementioned subjectivity of general damages, let’s take a look at an example. Imagine a heavy weight boxer and a local news anchor are involved in unrelated car accidents. Both incur a scar across their face as a result of the incident. Disfigurement damages would apply to both individuals, but presumably the news anchor’s disfigurement is worth more than that of the fighter. A fighter may not care about a cut to the face, yet a facial scar on a news anchor may ruin a career. Though imaginative, this disparity highlights the differences in general damages from individual to individual.
Special damages, or economic damages, are those whose value is tangible. In other words, this loss is quantifiable.
A few examples of Special Damages are:
- Loss of Earning Capacity
- Court Fees
- Lost Wages
- Medicals bills, both past and future
- Property damage
Even though these damages are seemingly easy to define, take a moment to think about quantifying future medical expenses. Past bills incurred are one thing, but to place a price tag on the amount of money it will take to pay off future bills is another. This is one of the key areas a layperson will undervalue their accident claim. This is also why it is not advisable a plaintiff take on a defendant pro se. Instead, a victim should retain experienced counsel, like the Austin personal injury attorneys at Grossman Law Offices. With more than 20 years experience, our attorneys have developed a reputation for helping accident victims seek the compensation they deserve.