How Much Will My Settlement Be?
The Law Office of Doug Goyen has been representing clients in personal injury cases since 1997. Our clients are primarily located in North Texas, specifically in Dallas, Fort Worth, and the surrounding Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Attorney Goyen has successfully resolved thousands of cases and obtained millions of dollars for his clients. Services our personal injury attorney in Dallas provides include but are not limited to, recouping the damages sustained by our clients, which are listed on this page. Contact us by phone at (972) 599 4100 or via our contact form.
When someone is injured as a result of another person’s or entity’s negligence, the injured party is entitled to recover the damages caused by the negligent act. This area of law is referred to as “tort law.” Tort law applies in situations where someone’s negligent or willful conduct results in damage to property or injury to someone, which is frequently the case in auto accidents.INTENTIONAL TORTS
Intentional or willful behavior is referred to as an “intentional tort.” Assault, conversion (theft), defamation, slander, interference with contractual relations, false imprisonment, and malicious prosecution are all examples of intentional torts. Individuals who sustain injuries or other damages as a result of intentional torts may sue the person or entity that committed the intentional tort.NEGLIGENCE
On the other hand, negligence encompasses conduct in which the injury was not intended, but the actions that resulted in the injury violated a law, a rule, a standard of care, or a violation of community standards designed to avoid such damages or injuries.DAMAGES DEFINED
“Damages” is a term that refers to the way you were harmed or suffered a loss as a result of an intentional tort or negligence. The injury or loss must be one for which compensation is permissible under the law.
The law imposes the burden of proof on the party who sustained the loss. This means that the person suing must conduct the proof. If you can establish that a person or entity caused you harm and that the harm was caused by either negligence or an intentional act, the person or entity responsible for the harm can be ordered to pay for the harm they caused.
If you suffer any of the following types of damages, Texas law (and the laws of the majority of other states) allows you to recover money to compensate for the injury or damage caused by negligent or intentional conduct.DAMAGES RECOVERABLE IN PERSONAL INJURY CASES
The following are categories of damages that courts in Texas allow an injured person to receive compensation if proved.
- Past and future medical bills: The amount of the medical bills necessary to treat your injury, both in the past and future.
- Past and future lost earning capacity: The amount of money you could have earned had you not been injured.
- Past and future lost income: The amount of money you actually did lose due to the injury and will lose in the future.
- Past and future physical impairment: How you have been physically impaired in the past due to your injury, and how you will be physically impaired in the future.
- Past and future disfigurement: How the injury has physically disfigured you in the past, and how it will do so in the future.
- Past and future mental anguish: How your physical injury has caused the mental anguish to a high degree, to the point that it is more than mere disappointment, resentment, embarrassment, or anger, and how it will do so in the future.
- Past and future pain and suffering: Compensation is allowed based on the common sense, knowledge, and sense of justice of a jury. Determining the value of pain and suffering in terms of settling a claim is therefore done by trying to think of how a jury – who doesn’t know anyone involved – will think the value is.
- Property damage: Damage done to your property, such as your car, or computer, or phone, or glasses are recoverable in an accident case.
- Loss of use of your property: This includes things such as rental car bills, or if you used your property or vehicle in your business and lost some of your income while the vehicle was not able to be driven is recoverable in a car wreck or accident case.
- Storage: If your vehicle was towed from the scene and stored in a storage yard, you will have bills for that storage. This is recoverable in an auto accident or motor vehicle wreck case.
- Total loss of property: If your vehicle was destroyed and cannot be repaired, you are entitled to recover the value of the vehicle just prior to the accident happening.
- Diminished value of the property: If your vehicle has been repaired, but is now worth a lower amount due to it having been involved in the accident, then you are entitled to recover money for the diminished value of your vehicle.
- Loss of a body part or mental function: If you have lost an arm, leg, or mental function or capacity due to the accident or injury, then you may recover damages for the harm that was caused.
- Loss of consortium: If the injury severe enough that it has caused you to no longer enjoy the companionship of your family members, then you are entitled to recover for how this has damaged your family relationships.
- Loss of services: If a husband or wife can no longer do their normal household duties due to the injury, then they are entitled to recover compensation for this.
- Emotional/mental trauma (bystander injury): If a closely related person actually witnesses in some way as it happens, such as sees a loved one seriously injured or killed, they are entitled to recover as a bystander for the emotional or mental trauma caused by witnessing such an event.
- Punitive Damages: Are allowed with the purpose of “punishing” the person who caused the injury for very bad or illegal behavior, with the intent of discouraging such behavior from occurring again in the future. Tort reform in Texas has taken the teeth out of this measure of damages, but it is still available in certain rare situations or cases – but it is limited by caps enacted by the Texas Legislature in response to the tort reform movement.
Other damages that may be recoverable in accident and injury cases include prenatal injury, exemplary damages, prejudgment interest, attorney’s fees, andcourt costs. WRONGFUL DEATH DAMAGES RECOVERABLE
Texas has two routes of recovery when a person is killed due to negligence or an intentional act. First is a “Survival Cause of Action” where certain people are allowed to make a claim on the deceased person’s behalf for damages the deceased person would have been able to make had they survived. The second type of recovery allowed is under the Texas Wrongful Death Act, which specifies damages allowed for certain people such as close family members for damages caused to those family members caused by the deceased person’s death.
- Wrongful Death Act: Losses that can be recovered: Pecuniary loss (adult child, minor child, parent), loss of society & companionship, mental anguish, loss of spousal consortium, loss of parental consortium, loss of filial consortium, emotional/mental trauma resulting from the contemporaneous perception of death of loved one, exemplary or punitive damages, loss of inheritance.
- Survival Causes of Action: allow the following types of recovery when someone has been killed due to negligence or an intentional act: Funeral and burial expenses, decedent’s conscious pain and suffering, mental anguish, property damage, exemplary or punitive damages, and medical expenses.
In other words, the estate steps into the shoes of the decedent, as though he had not died, and makes the claims on behalf of the decedent. Any money recovered goes to the estate.
Contact the Law Office of Doug Goyen at (972) 599 4100, or on our website contact form.
By Doug Goyen, firstname.lastname@example.org
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