Car accidents occur in Texas for many reasons, including distracted driving, speeding and following too closely. One of the most common types of accidents, however, is the lane-change accident. A car accident while changing lanes can lead to a complicated insurance process. Determining fault and liability for a lane-change accident may require an in-depth investigation into which driver was in the wrong. Assigning Fault in a Car Accident Involving Changing Lanes If you live in a no-fault state, you may not need to determine who is at fault for a car accident while changing lanes. In no-fault states, all injured parties will seek benefits from their own insurance providers, no matter who was at fault. Texas, however, is a fault state. This means you must assign fault before you can file an insurance claim. Lane-change accidents are notoriously complex when it comes to determining fault. In general, the fault will go to the driver who broke a roadway rule, breached his or her duties of care to the other driver, or failed to yield the right-of-way. These are common mistakes that commonly cause auto accidents in Texas. Determining fault in a lane-change accident takes investigating who bore the right-of-way at the time of the crash. One driver had the right to be in the lane while the other driver did not. Determining the Right-of-Way Right-of-way refers to the legal authority to proceed along a specific route. What establishes the right-of-way in a particular situation is Texas law. When it comes to merging or changing lanes, Texas Transportation Code 545.060 gives the right-of-way to the driver already occupying the lane. It states that all operators must keep to single lanes, and may only move from the lane if they can do so safely. The driver in the destination lane (Driver A) will always bear the right to proceed over a driver trying to switch lanes into the destination lane (Driver B). It is Driver B’s responsibility to make sure he or she can change lanes or merge onto a highway in a way that is safe. Driver B must take due care to safely complete the maneuver, such as using a turn signal, checking rearview mirrors and ensuring the lane is clear before moving. The right-of-way going to the existing driver means the Driver B will be liable for a lane-change accident, in most cases. Did the Driver Obey Texas Laws for Changing Lanes? In determining fault for a lane-change accident in Texas, investigators will need to figure out who broke a roadway law in making an illegal or unsafe maneuver. Investigators may look at police reports, photographs, video surveillance footage, eyewitness statements and testimony from experts to determine fault. In general, the driver making the lane change will be responsible for the wreck for not making sure the lane was clear before moving. In some cases, however, the driver in the destination lane could be at fault. Driver A could bear fault for a lane-change accident if he or she intentionally sped up or hit the brakes to prevent Driver B from changing lanes. Speeding, weaving through traffic, motorcyclist lane-splitting and not using headlights at night are also examples of negligence that could make Driver A responsible for a lane-change accident. If Driver A was lawfully in a lane and had the right-of-way, however, Driver B would most likely be liable for making an unsafe lane change. Sometimes, two drivers merge into the same lane at the same time, causing a collision. In this case, fault could go to one or both drivers. The driver who entered the lane last would most likely take responsibility; however, both drivers may bear a percentage of fault for the crash. Since lane-change accident claims can be especially difficult to navigate in Texas, contact an attorney to help you determine fault. A Houston car accident lawyer can help you fight for fair compensation.
How you must handle an insurance claim after getting injured in a car accident will depend on whether the state where the accident occurred uses a fault or no-fault insurance law. Your state’s fault law will determine who is financially responsible for your crash-related losses – either your auto insurance company or that of the other driver. Texas is not a no-fault accident state. It is a fault state. What Does Being a Fault State Mean? A fault state uses a car insurance system that centers on fault for the accident. Rather than each party involved seeking compensation from his or her own insurance company – as is the case in a no-fault state – all injured victims will seek compensation from the insurer of the negligent or at-fault party. Every driver should have adequate insurance to pay for victims’ losses based on Texas’s liability laws. These laws make it mandatory for motor vehicle operators in Texas to purchase at least $30,000 per person and $60,000 per accident in bodily injury insurance, as well as $25,000 in vehicle damage liability insurance. Auto insurance protects both parties after a crash. It prevents both the at-fault driver and the victim from having to pay out of pocket for damages. Living in a fault state such as Texas can have pros and cons. One of the pros is that, in general, a third-party liability claim will result in higher compensation than a first-party insurance claim. The main con of a fault-based state, however, is that before you can recover compensation for a car accident in Texas, you will need to identify the at-fault party and prove his or her fault. How Should You Handle an Insurance Claim in Texas? It is important to take the correct steps during your car accident insurance claim if you wish to recover fair compensation in Texas. The insurance company that receives your claim will look for any reason to deny benefits. It may not be easy to prove the other driver’s fault during the insurance process. You can improve your chances of a successful claim, however, by taking the right steps after your accident. Call the police. Call 911 after any car accident that causes personal injuries or property damages. An official police report could provide evidence of the other driver’s fault, such as speeding or drunk driving. Take photographs. The insurance company will ask for proof of your losses, such as photos of your vehicle’s damages. Taking photos can also help crash reconstructionists re-create how the accident happened. Go to the hospital. Failing to receive medical care is a red flag for an insurance company. The insurer will want to see that you obtained immediate medical care for any injuries. File your claim as soon as possible. Do not delay in notifying the other driver’s insurance company about the car accident. Most insurers require initial report submissions within 24 to 72 hours of the crash. Before an insurance company will give you benefits in a fault state, you will have to establish its policyholder’s fault for your collision. Photographs, video footage, police reports, medical records, injury documentation and eyewitness testimony could all help you prove your car accident case in Texas. You may also need a lawyer’s assistance with your insurance claim depending on the circumstances. Do You Need to Hire a Car Accident Attorney in Texas? Texas’s fault accident law could mean collecting more money in damages from the driver at fault for your car accident and injuries. It also means you will need to prove fault. You may have to combat defenses such as comparative negligence allegations as well. If found more than 50% responsible for causing the crash, Texas law will bar you from any financial recovery. Hire a car accident attorney for professional assistance with your insurance claim in Texas. A lawyer can help you navigate Texas’s fault law, prove the other driver’s negligence and negotiate for maximum compensation on your behalf.
You are faced with many important decisions as the victim of a personal injury accident in Texas. Many different people may be asking things of you, such as bill collectors, hospitals and insurance claims adjusters. Deciding to retain a legal professional could be the best thing you can do for your case. If you have a case that could benefit from a personal injury lawyer, hiring one can be crucial for your future. Does Your Case Warrant the Hiring of an Attorney? The first question to ask is whether your case is one that requires assistance from a personal injury lawyer. While you technically always have the option of going pro se (representing yourself), this might not be the best decision if you have a complicated case. Pro se litigation could set you up for mistakes such as accepting a lowball settlement from an insurance company or missing important information on your initial claim. If you have serious injuries from your accident, hire a personal injury lawyer. A serious injury case demands attention from an attorney. An insurance company may try to dispute liability or use other tactics to avoid paying you a fair and full amount for a serious or catastrophic injury. Hiring a lawyer can be the most effective way to secure the compensation your injuries demand. It can also be important to hire a lawyer if your case involves complications such as multiple defendants, comparative negligence or lack of available insurance coverage. What Are the Laws in Your State? The next thing to consider is whether you will need to prove someone else’s negligence. If not, you may not need to hire an attorney, as you will be negotiating with your own insurance company instead of the company of an at-fault party. A first-party claim is generally easier to resolve. A third-party claim, on the other hand, will require you to prove fault. This can make it more important to hire a lawyer. Texas is a fault state. If you are injured in an auto accident in Texas, the fault law means you will seek financial compensation from the at-fault party. Hiring a lawyer could enable you to gather evidence of the negligent party’s fault. If you live in a no-fault state, you may need to hire an attorney if your injury is serious enough to allow you to step outside of the no-fault system. Could a Lawyer Obtain Better Results for Your Case? The decision to hire a lawyer takes analyzing how much you could make alone versus how much money an attorney can obtain for you. Statistically, plaintiffs who hire attorneys generally recover greater compensation than pro se plaintiffs. This is because attorneys have the negotiation skills and resources to obtain better results. If necessary, a lawyer can go to trial to fight for higher compensation on your behalf. If you know you are already recovering the maximum amount available under the defendant’s insurance policy, however, hiring a lawyer may be unnecessary. You may be able to accept the settlement and know that you achieved a fair outcome. When in doubt, talk to a lawyer about the value of your personal injury case. Then you will have more knowledge about your claim to use during settlement negotiations. How Much Will a Personal Injury Lawyer Cost? Finally, ask how much your personal injury lawyer will cost. If you choose a firm that operates on a contingency fee basis, your lawyer will not get paid unless you do. This can ensure you always have the ability to afford your lawyer since the legal fees will come directly from the settlement or judgment won. Plus, this type of attorney will be motivated to obtain maximum compensation, as the amount you receive determines the amount the lawyer receives as payment. Most attorneys do not take more in legal fees than their clients make. Ask your lawyer for more information about his or her fee system to make an informed decision.
Whether you were injured in a car accident or dog attack in Texas, you deserve representation from a personal injury attorney. A lawyer will know exactly how to handle your case to secure you the best possible results. If you are on the fence about hiring an attorney to represent you as a personal injury claimant, schedule a free consultation with a lawyer near you where you can learn how he or she could help your case. Answers to Your Legal Questions The civil justice system can be complicated and difficult to understand for the average victim. You have probably never had to go up against a negligent party in pursuit of financial compensation before. Hiring a lawyer can give you answers you can trust to all of your legal questions. Your lawyer can explain your rights and help you understand what to expect from the process moving forward. Your lawyer can give you peace of mind about legal matters so you can focus more on healing. Support for Your Legal and Personal Needs Yes, a lawyer serves as a legal professional, but he or she will also provide support for your personal needs during what could be the most difficult time of your life. For example, your lawyer can connect you to the best doctors for your injury or condition in Texas. Your attorney and the entire legal team will be there for you when you need it the most. From answering questions about your case 24/7 to looking out for your best interests in and out of the courtroom, your lawyer can help you through a hard time. Important Legal Resources Your personal injury case could benefit from the resources the average law firm has to offer. A law firm will have connections to investigators and accident reconstructionists, for example, who can reconstruct how your accident happened and who is to blame for causing your losses. The law firm may also have special technology to demonstrate your losses to an insurance company or jury, such as visual diagrams explaining your injuries. Finally, a lawyer will know subject-matter experts in your region who can testify on your behalf. Hiring a lawyer could give you access to many resources that could improve your claim. An Advocate Against the Insurance Company One of the most critical reasons to hire a personal injury lawyer is for protection from insurance company bad-faith tactics. Insurance companies will stop at nothing to protect their own interests and make a profit. They will even resort to bad-faith maneuvers to save money on your claim, such as offering less than they know your case is worth or unfairly delaying your payout. Hiring a lawyer will give you a trained professional who can negotiate with an insurance company on your behalf. Your lawyer will not allow an insurance provider to take advantage of you during a personal injury claim. The Ability to Go to Trial Most injury cases in Texas settle. However, some require trials for fair outcomes. If your lawyer believes you could receive more money for your injuries and damages than an insurance company is offering, your lawyer can represent you at trial in Texas instead. A personal injury attorney can make a trial much less daunting. Your lawyer can take care of difficult legal processes in the pursuit of full compensation while you recuperate. Better Results for Your Personal Injury Case Overall, hiring a personal injury attorney can help you achieve better case results. When your future rests on the outcome of your personal injury claim, invest in an attorney. An attorney can accurately estimate the value of your claim. Then, your attorney can go up against the defendant and his or her insurance company to demand the maximum amount of compensation possible for your past and future losses. Having a lawyer handle your case could lead to a higher settlement than you could obtain alone.
If you were involved in a motor vehicle accident in the Tampa or Hillsborough County area, you will need a copy of your crash report in order to properly document your accident, as well as file a claim with the insurance company. Download Your Crash Report Online This is the easiest and quickest option to get your crash report. Go to the Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles official crash report portal here. It will cost $10. Request Your Crash Report Online You can directly order your crash report from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office here. Although it doesn’t require that you create an account, it is preferred so that you can better keep track of your request. Get Your Crash Report By Mail You can send a request via mail to: Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Attention: Records Section / Freddie Solomon Annex P.O. Box 3371 Tampa, FL 33601 Call a Hillsborough County Car Accident Lawyer Next After you’ve had a chance to review your crash report, it’s essential that you speak to a Hillsborough County car accident lawyer to learn about your rights. Remember: time is not on your side in these types of cases.
Getting your crash report after a crash is extremely important. The crash report will serve as a source for useful information that you’ll need to file a claim with the insurance company. There are several ways you can obtain your Palm Beach County crash report. Download Your Palm Beach County Crash Report Whether you live in West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Boyton Beach, Delray Beach, Wellington, Jupiter, or Palm Beach Gardens you can always download your crash report online here for $10. Request Your Crash Report By Email You can also submit your request for your Palm Beach County crash report via email. Submit your request to firstname.lastname@example.org. Get Your Crash Report Through Mail You can submit your request via mail along with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office Sworn Statement for Traffic Crash Report Information. Send your request along with the form to: Palm Beach County Sheriff’s OfficeAttn: Central Records3228 Gun Club Rd.West Palm Beach, FL 33406 Get the Help of a Palm Beach County Car Accident Lawyer After you receive your crash report, call our Palm Beach County car accident lawyer to discuss your case. We offer free consultations 24/7. If you hire us, we collect no fee unless we achieve a settlement or verdict in your favor.
If you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in any of the Broward County areas, including Coconut Creek, Cooper City, Coral Springs, Dania Beach, Davie, Deerfield Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Hallandale Beach, Hillsboro Beach, Hollywood, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea, Lauderdale Lakes, Lauderhill, Lazy Lake, Lighthouse Point, Margate, Miramar, North Lauderdale, Oakland Park, Parkland, Pembroke Park, Pembroke Pines, Plantation, Pompano Beach, Sea Ranch Lakes, Southwest Ranches, Sunrise, Tamarac, West Park, Weston, and Wilton Manors, one of the first things you should do is get your crash report. The crash report provides valuable details and will help you while you are filing your claim with the insurance company. Get Your Crash Report Online You can download your Broward County crash report online for $10 here. You can also use Broward County Sheriff’s Department public records request portal here. You’ll need to create an account first. In Person You can request your Broward County crash report in person, as well. The reports that are taken by Broward County Deputies take several days to be processed through the Records Division. Broward County Sheriff’s Department states that you should allow 5 business days before submitting your request to ensure your report is ready. Make your request at the public records window which is open Monday-Thursday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. The window will be closed Friday through Sunday. Your request must include: the case number (if available) date, time and location of the event or accident the name(s) of the person(s) involved. If this request is within 60 days of the accident you will need to complete a Request for Traffic Crash Report Information Form. Mail the completed signed and notarized form with your letter of request to the address below. After 60 days, the form is not necessary and anyone may obtain a copy of the report. By Mail You can also mail your request to Broward County Sheriff’s Department. You’ll need: the case number (if available) date, time and location of the event or accident the name(s) of the person(s) involved You will also need the Request for Traffic Crash Report Information Form if the accident happens within 60 days. Send your request with the form to: Broward Sheriff’s Office – Public Records Unit P.O. Box 9507 Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33310 After You Get Your Report, Get Help Call a Broward County car accident lawyer to discuss your case. Time is of the essence in any personal injury case.
After you have been involved in a motor vehicle accident in the Miami area, it’s crucial that you obtain and review the crash report in order to properly handle your case. You’ll need the crash report to identify the parties involved and get an overview of the facts, as well as it serves as proof that the accident occurred. Get Your Miami Crash Report Online The State of Florida has made it much easier to now obtain your Miami car accident report. Go to this link and download your copy of your accident report for $10. It may take up to 10 days before the report is available. This is the quickest way to get your report. Get Your Miami Crash Report in Person To get your Miami crash report in person, you will need to make an appointment online here. Request Your Miami Crash Report By Mail You can request your Miami crash report by mail by completing and notarizing the Sworn Statement for Traffic Report Information form and send this form with your request to: Central Records Bureau 9105 NW 25th St. Doral, FL 33172 Request Your Miami Crash Report By Email Send your request along with the Sworn Statement for Traffic Report Information form to the Public Records Custodian, Loretta Gabe-Charles at: Lgabecharles@mdpd.com Once You Are Done Getting Your Miami Crash Report, Get Help Once you’re done downloading your car accident report, give us a call to talk to our Miami car accident lawyer to discuss your options. The sooner the better. Every conversation you have with the insurance company without a lawyer can be devastating to your case.
How is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Texas: An Overview How is pain and suffering is calculated in Texas? How pain and suffering is calculated in a personal injury case will depend on where you are in the timeline of your case. The approach to calculating pain and suffering before a trial and during trial are not the same. Insurance companies typically use claims software to calculate pain and suffering. On the other hand, a jury does not use any special formulas, but only their own best judgment based on the evidence presented to them. However, keep in mind that there are many steps that are required before you go to court for a trial. Many personal injury cases settle even before a lawsuit is filed and most settle before trial. Before a trial you may be negotiating with the insurance company to reach a reasonable settlement amount. Alternatively, if your case goes to trial, your attorney may be arguing your case before a jury or judge. We will discuss how pain and suffering is calculated in both situations, how you can maximize your pain and suffering in both instances, how you can prove pain and suffering in court, and look at some real-world Texas settlements and jury verdicts for examples. But first we need to define some terms to better understand Texas pain and suffering law. What Are Damages? Before we can get into calculating pain and suffering, we need to learn some key legal concepts. In any personal injury case based in “negligence,” you need to prove “damages.” “Damages” are the actual harm or injury as a result of the responsible party’s carelessness. These are not presumed in cases where you are claiming someone else’s negligence caused your injuries. You need to prove them with evidence, such as with medical bills. “Compensatory damages” are those that are meant to compensate you for your losses, intending to place you back where you were prior to the accident. In Texas, there are two types of compensatory damages: Special Damages (economic damages) and General Damages (non-economic damages). What Are Special Damages? Special damages, also known as economic damages, are those that can be easily quantifiable. These damages can be proven by medical bills, pay-stubs, or some other evidence showing out-of-pocket expenses that flowed from the injury. These damages are intended to compensate the claimant for monetary losses that were suffered. Special damages include past and future medical expenses, past lost wages, and future loss of earnings. What Are General Damages? General damages are damages that are not so easy to quantify. They are also meant to compensate the claimant for losses, but for those that are not quantified specifically in a dollar value. Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.001(12) specifically lists what are considered general damages, including: Physical pain and suffering; Mental or emotional pain or anguish; Loss of consortium; Disfigurement; Physical impairment; Loss of companionship and society; Inconvenience; Loss of enjoyment of life; Injury to reputation; and All other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages. What is “Pain & Suffering”? Now that we know how pain and suffering is categorized under the law, what exactly is pain and suffering, anyhow? Pain and suffering damages are awarded for the purpose of compensating a claimant for the physical pain that he/she endures as a result of an injury. This is distinguished from the mental aspects of an injury, known as “mental or emotional pain or anguish.” Pain and suffering strictly concerns the actual physical pain that an injured party feels from a physical injury. Although pain and suffering and mental or emotional pain or anguish are two distinct types of damages, they are often lumped together when submitted to the jury. However, there are many Texas cases that recognize that these are two distinct elements of a plaintiff’s damages. (See Daniels v. Univ. of Tex. Health Science Center of Tyler, No. 12-03-00399-CV, 2005 WL 1642969, at *2 (Tex. App.—Tyler July 13, 2005, no pet.)(mem. op.). Texas law allows recovery for physical pain and suffering in the past and future (See A.T. & S.F. Ry. Co. v. O’Merry, 727 S.W.2d 596, 599-600 (Tex. App. Houston [1st Dist.] 1987, no writ). As you guessed, quantifying someone’s pain in dollars is difficult. Texas courts have stated that there is no definite way to measure pain and suffering in terms of money but that the jury should arrive at some fair compensation based on its “common knowledge and sense of justice.” Hernandez v. Baucum, 344 S.W.2d 498, 500 (Tex. Civ. App. 1961). Below, we will discuss how pain and suffering are calculated both pre-trial and during trial. Calculating Pain & Suffering Pre-Trial (Claims Software) Before a trial, either before or after a lawsuit is filed, you will be negotiating your case with the insurance company. The claims adjuster will be valuing your case based on a variety of factors. Typically, the large insurance companies use claims software programs such as Colossus, Mitchell Claim IQ, and Claims Outcome Advisor (COA) to calculate settlement offers, especially on soft tissue injury cases (e.g., whiplash, sprains, and strains). They’ll enter in medical billing codes, injury codes, and several other factors to arrive at a settlement range. Typically, these soft-tissue injury cases are handled by low-level adjusters and these adjusters are prohibited from offering anything outside the claims software settlement range, unless you can present “new” information to them. Insurance companies use this software at a varying degree with some heavily relying on the settlement ranges that are provided, such as Allstate. With more serious injuries, the reliance on this software is not as significant. As discussed above, pain and suffering is part of what are called “general damages” and are considered within the software’s algorithm. The nature of the injury and treatment will have a large effect on the amount of pain and suffering and total general damages that is given in any case. Muscle sprains and strains will yield little pain and suffering…
What is a Typical Car Accident Settlement Amount? The Insurance Information Institute reported that in 2017 the average auto liability claim for bodily injury was $15,270 and $3,638 for property damage. According to the Rocky Mountain Insurance Information Association, in 2013 the average bodily injury car accident settlement was $15,443. To get an idea of what these cases are worth when they go before a jury, the National Center for State Courts published data collected in 2001 from several counties throughout the United States, including Bexar, Dallas, El Paso, and Harris counties, that calculated the median jury award for motor vehicle accidents. The median jury award for motor vehicle accidents was $17,544. Unfortunately, these figures don’t tell us much. Since car accident injury settlements are so fact intensive, an average doesn’t provide much help in regard to what a particular case is worth. As discussed below, there are several factors that go into valuing a car accident injury settlement case. Only through experience can someone know how to value a car accident injury case properly. If you feel that the insurance company is undervaluing your case, it’s best to consult an experienced Houston car accident attorney. Don’t Trust “Magic” Formulas or Online Settlement Calculators Many car accident injury victims will Google what a typical or average car accident settlement amount would be for their specific situation. This search will yield many results with websites claiming to give an exact calculation or formula to determine a typical settlement amount for a car accident injury case. Most common is the calculation of taking the dollar amount of the medical bills and lost wages of the injured victim and multiplying it by some arbitrary number (1.5-5) to arrive at a pain and suffering dollar amount, then adding the total amount of medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering together. However, this is almost always inaccurate. Neither insurance adjusters nor Texas juries are instructed to use this method to calculate the value of any car accident injury settlement or award. This practice arose in the past from both insurance adjusters and personal injury attorneys “guesstimating” an amount of where an appropriate settlement amount would be for usually minor, soft tissue injuries (e.g., whiplash). The reality is there is no formula or calculator that can provide an actual car accident settlement amount. There are simply too many variables involved in each case to accurately calculate an average or typical car accident settlement amount. However, there are factors that you should know that can affect the value of your case, such as the amount of your “damages,” the calculation of pain and suffering, and other relevant factors. An overview of these points are discussed below, as well as real car accident injury case settlement examples from several different counties in Texas. Before delving further into the discussion of typical or average car accident settlement amounts, it’s important to know what exactly a “settlement” is. What is a Settlement? A settlement is an agreement between parties of a legal dispute which resolves the dispute prior to either filing a lawsuit or proceeding further after a lawsuit is filed. The parties usually agree to settle the underlying dispute for a dollar amount in exchange for releasing the liable party from any further liability. In the car accident context, the liable party’s insurance company would agree to pay the injured party a sum of money in order to release their insured from any further liability. The settlement amount will be an amount both parties feel is fair to settle without proceeding further in the dispute and avoiding further litigation expenses. Keep in mind, insurance companies are businesses with a main goal of maximizing profits. This means they will do their best to pay out as little as possible in settling claims. Depending on the facts of your case, accepting a settlement may make sense. However, there are situations where filing a lawsuit and going all the way to trial is necessary to achieve top dollar for your case. Most Important Factor in Determining Typical Car Accident Settlement Amounts One of the most important factors in determining a typical car accident settlement amount is knowing what your “damages” are. Damages are a term of art in the law meaning the calculation of losses realized in a personal injury case. You must be able to prove damages in order to receive fair value for your car accident injury case. There are two main types of damages, including Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages, in addition to other sub-categories of Compensatory Damages which are broken down below. Compensatory Damages Compensatory Damages, also known as “actual damages,” are the monetary compensation that are awarded to an injured victim as a result of an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. Compensatory damages are intended to put the injured party back to where they were before the accident and make them “whole.” Special Damages Special Damages or “Specials” are a type of compensatory damages that are quantifiable, such as past and future medical expenses, past lost wages and loss of earning capacity, and other out-of-pocket expenses. You prove these damages by presenting evidence such as medical bills, paycheck stubs, W-2s, or simply a letter from your employer detailing the amount of lost time, your salary, your position at the company, and how many hours you usually work. Lost wages include the time you missed from work and weren’t paid, as well as sick time and vacation time used as a result of the accident. General Damages General Damages, also known as non-economic damages, are another type of compensatory damages that are difficult to quantify. According to Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code Section 41.001(12), non-economic damages include: Physical pain and suffering; Mental or emotional pain or anguish; Loss of consortium; Disfigurement; Physical impairment; Loss of companionship and society; Inconvenience; Loss of enjoyment of life; Injury to reputation; and All other nonpecuniary losses of any kind other than exemplary damages. Due to the difficulty in calculating…