In 2021, approximately 69,127 lawsuits alleging injury were filed in the state of Texas, with plaintiffs (meaning, the person(s) who bring a case against another) seeking to recover economic and noneconomic damages, according to a report issued by the Texas Judicial Branch, Office of Court Administration. This statistic does not include the many personal injury claims in Texas that are resolved through mediation or settlements.
You may be wondering, What do economic and noneconomic damages mean? In this article, our Texas personal injury attorneys at The Button Law Firm explain the differences between economic and noneconomic damages in personal injury cases, as well as provide definitions for often-used legal terminology.
For example, in one case our daycare injury attorneys were successful in obtaining economic and noneconomic damages for the family of a 3-year-old Fort Worth girl whose elbow was dislocated when a daycare worker yanked her by the arm several times. We were able to help her family recover compensation for medical bills (known as economic damages) and psychological injuries (known as noneconomic damages), including regressed potty training and sleeping issues.
What Are Damages in a Personal Injury Case Filed in Texas?
A personal injury case is when someone is hurt by the negligent actions of another person. In a court case, the term damages is a broad word that encompasses all the different ways that a person can be harmed by the negligence of someone else.
Essentially, damages in a personal injury case are the monetary, physical, emotional, or psychological impacts that result from an injury or accident caused by someone else. They are intended to compensate the injured person for the injuries he or she incurred because of negligent or intentional harm from the person that caused the injury.
Damages include everything that can result from an accident or injury, such as:
- Medical expenses, including past and future treatments to help a person heal from their injuries
- Physical pain sustained from injuries
- Emotional suffering due to isolation or limitations caused by injuries
- Mental anguish
- Loss of income for missed work from experiencing the injury, including time spent healing
- Compensation for physical disfigurement or impairment
- Loss of enjoyment of life after the injury
- Loss of earning capacity in the future because of the injury
- Loss of household services
In wrongful death cases, the loss of spousal or parental consortium, or companionship, is also a type of damage that can compensate a victim involved in a negligence incident.
It is important to note that in most personal injury cases you have only two years from the date of an incident to seek damages. Reach out to our team as soon as possible to see if you may be eligible to seek damages for your personal injury case.
Economic Damages vs. Noneconomic Damages in Texas
The broad term damages can be broken down into two general categories: economic damages and noneconomic damages.
Generally, economic damages are the actual expenses—dollars and cents—that you have incurred because of the negligence of someone else. Economic damages often include:
- Medical bills
- Lost income from missed work
- Other out-of-pocket expenses you pay to heal from your injuries.
You will often have receipts and bills to prove these damages. For example, if you were involved in a car accident that required your needing to get a rental car while your car was being repaired, the bill from the car rental company would be an economic damage. So, economic damages can often be calculated using a specific mathematical value.
Noneconomic damages, on the other hand, are the incalculable or unquantifiable damages that result from the negligence of someone else. You will not have a receipt for these damages, which include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of spousal consortium
- Loss of parental support
- Physical disfigurement or impairment
It is important to note that not having a specific monetary number associated with noneconomic damages does not mean they are less important or less justifiable than economic damages. A price can easily be placed on a medical procedure, medical treatment, or car rental bill. A price cannot easily be placed on having to endure daily physical pain and discomfort, the loss of an arm or leg, emotional trauma, or the loss of the ability to enjoy your life like before a serious or catastrophic accident. In many cases, the noneconomic damages you have sustained are the most impactful category of damages.
The Button Law Firm Can Help Obtain Compensation for Economic and Noneconomic Damages
The knowledgeable and compassionate lawyers at The Button Law Firm have been successful in helping individuals and families in Texas recover economic and noneconomic damages after a traumatic incident. Contact us today if you or your child has been injured in an incident involving a child daycare center, car accident, premises liability, boating accident, or other serious personal injury. We’re here to guide you, including helping you obtain medical treatment, manage pain, deal with insurance companies, and recover all of the economic and noneconomic damages you may be entitled to. Reach out to our Texas attorneys by calling 214-699-4409 or filling out a contact form with any questions or for a free consultation.
Schedule a Free Consultation with Our Texas Personal Injury Lawyers
The experienced and compassionate Texas personal injury lawyers at The Button Law Firm are ready to fight for you. We will listen to you and guide you through the personal injury claim process. Aggressive legal pursuit of your personal injury claim includes listening to you and your concerns, investigating your case, and timely filing a claim or lawsuit. The trial attorneys at The Button Law Firm are recognized on the prestigious Texas Super Lawyers list, and we can help guide you if you have been involved in a serious or catastrophic injury anywhere in Texas. We work on contingency, meaning we don’t charge you or collect any upfront fees to work on your case. Call us at 214-699-4409 or fill out a contact form for a free consultation. Time is of the essence. Do not delay seeking justice and compensation for your economic and non-economic damages if you or your family has been injured by someone else.