As you move through your personal injury claim, you will encounter various legal terms of art. One important term that you should fully understand is “economic damages.” This term affects a big portion of how much your claim is worth. Below, we will explain this critical term and what it may mean for your claim.
Personal injury cases are sometimes known as “tort” claims. A tort is a civil wrong that causes harm to another person. It is distinct from criminal acts, which usually require showing the defendant intended to cause harm. The legal theory that underscores most tort claims is negligence, which requires the plaintiff (the party bringing the case) to show the following legal elements:
While criminal law is concerned with punishing the defendant for their misconduct, tort law is focused on making the plaintiff “whole” again by providing financial compensation for the damages they’ve suffered.
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Texas law defines economic damages as “compensatory damages intended to compensate a claimant for actual economic or pecuniary loss.” This is a mouthful, but it basically means losses a personal injury victim suffered that can be computed to a dollar figure.
Yes, there are other types of damages besides economic damages. Non-economic damages compensate the victim for things that are not as easy to quantify, such as pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life. Punitive damages are intended to punish a defendant for particularly egregious behavior.
The Texas Trial Lawyers Association says that economic damages are “easily measured by money, such as lost wages, repairs to a car, the cost of hospital care, etc.” Examples of economic damages might include:
After verifying the types of economic damages a victim suffered, a personal injury lawyer can help calculate economic damages.
Calculating economic damages is usually pretty straightforward. You can usually add up your various losses and get the sum as your total. There may be some further calculations, depending on your losses. For example, if you lost ten days of work because of your injuries, you would multiply ten by your daily wage. Sometimes, an expert may need to help compute some portion of your damages.
There are several ways that you can prove your economic damages, including:
An experienced lawyer can carefully consider your damages and help you collect evidence to show your economic damages.
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You do not have to try to deal with your claim on your own. FVF Law Injury Attorneys can help with your economic damages claim by:
Consulting an Austin injury attorney after an accident can be a strong step toward pursuing compensation for your financial losses.
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