Loss of Part of Body or Mental and Intellectual Function

Some personal injury cases may involve facts where loss of a part of the body, or loss of mental and intellectual function need to be claimed as an element of damage. The fact patterns that allow collection for these elements of damage are narrow. If you think your case may involve one of these elements of damage, contact our Dallas injury lawyer, at the Law Office of Doug Goyen, (972) 599 4100.

Loss of Part of Body (As Long As It Doesn't Overlap Physical Impairment):

Texas courts have allowed recovery for the element of loss of a part of the body in certain instances. You must be careful not to overlap the damages you are asking for, in order to avoid appeal issues (such as asking for loss of a body part, but only giving evidence of how this causes “physical impairment”. If you recover under physical impairment, and then recover for loss of a body part for both, then the Defendant (or his insurance company) may be able to have the award overturned on appeal for giving the same money under two different names (double recovery).

Loss of Teeth: The Texas Supreme Court has recognized the loss of teeth as a separate element of damage in Houston Transit Co. v. Felder, 208 S.W.2d 880 (Tex. 1948).

Loss of Hearing: The Tyler court of appeals approved a separate element of damage for the loss of hearing in City of Houston v. Riggins, 568 S.W.2d 188 (Tex.Civ.App.—Tyler 1978, writ ref’d n.r.e.).

Loss of Mental and Intellectual Function (apparently only when brain damage so severe that the Plaintiff can no longer perceive mental anguish or pain and suffering):

A Dallas case involved catastrophic injuries that were so severe, including severe brain damage, that the Defendant questioned whether the Plaintiff could even feel pain any more, or experience mental anguish – since his brain damage left him in such a state that there was question whether the injured Plaintiff could even perceive pain or mental anguish. The court held that the loss of mental and intellectual function the precludes such “appreciation” is itself a separate element of damages. See Western Union Tel. Co. v. Tweed, 138 S.W. 1155 (Tex.Civ.App—Dallas 1911), rev’d on other grounds, 166 S.W. 696 (Tex. 1914). The loss of mental function (destruction of the mind) is an element of damages instead of mental suffering.

BUT, on the other hand, in a case where a person DID suffer brain damage, but not to the severity where they could not perceive mental anguish or pain and suffering, the courts have held that submission of “loss of mental and intellectual function” is improper, since that part of damage (loss of mental and intellectual function) can be properly included in the pain and suffering and mental anguish part of the case since the injured Plaintiff was still able to perceive pain and suffering and mental anguish. Johnson v. King, 821 S.W.2d 425 (Tex.App.—Fort Worth 1991, writ denied).

If you have a case that involves the loss of a part of the body, or the loss of mental and intellectual function, and you need help on your case, contact our Dallas injury lawyer. The Law Office of Doug Goyen will help you fight the insurance company, and ensure that the insurance company is not able to get out of paying what it owes. Call (972) 599 4100 to discuss your case.

Personal Injury Areas We Help With Are:

Auto Accident and Injury Cases, Personal Injury Cases, 18 Wheeler & Commercial Vehicle Injury Accident Cases, Motorcycle Accident and Injury Cases, Wrongful Death Cases, Pedestrian Injured by Automobile Cases, Slip and Fall & Premises Cases, Workplace & Constructions Injury Cases, Dog Bite Injury Cases, Bicyclers Hit by Automobile Cases .

Types of Coverage in Automobile Injury Cases:

Automobile Liability Insurance, Uninsured Motorist Insurance, Personal Injury Protection (PIP), Medpay Insurance, Property Damage & Collision Coverages for Your Auto

Damages Often Recoverable in Personal Injury Cases Include the Following:

Past and future medical bills, past and future lost earning capacity, past and future lost income, past and future physical impairment, past and future disfigurement, past and future mental anguish, past and future pain and suffering, property damage, loss of use of your property - such as rental car bills, storage, total loss of property, diminished value of property, loss of body member (arm, leg, . . .), loss of body capacity (hearing, eyesight, . . . ), loss of consortium (spouse, parental, child/filial), loss of services, emotional/mental trauma (bystander injury), prenatal injury, exemplary damages, prejudgment interest, attorney's fees, and court costs.

By Doug Goyen, douggoyen@gmail.com

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