Physical Impairment

If you have been physically impaired due to negligence, you may be able to recover for your “physical impairment”. If you believe you have been physically impaired due to negligence, and your injury is in the Dallas, Texas area, you will need to speak to a Dallas injury lawyer about your case to discuss your legal rights.

Physical Impairment - Defined by Texas Courts:

Most Texas courts have held that a factfinder (jury or judge) should be able to compensate someone who is physically impaired “to the extent that party may no longer engage in or enjoy activities that he or she was able to do before the injury”. Golden Eagle Archery v. Jackson, 116 S.W.3d 757, 766 (Tex 2003).

Most Texas courts hold that the physical impairment claimed must be permanent and affect physical activities.

Some Texas courts have held temporary injuries give rise to physical impairment and may be compensated.

The physical impairment claimed must be more than just the loss of earning capacity, and must be more than pain and suffering – as these are separate elements of damages which you can recover under (no double recovery in other words). The physical impairment must be to the extent that it “produces a separate and distinct loss that is substantial and for which he should be compensated.” Rosenboom Mach. & Tool, Inc. v. Machala, 995 S.W.2d 817, 826-28 (Tex.App.-Houston [1st Dist.] 1999, pet. denied).

The following examples are where courts have allowed awards for physical impairment (and therefore an injured person who has a similar injury should be able to make a claim for physical impairment in those situations):

  1. Blankenship v. Mirick, 984 S.W.2d 771, 778 (Tex.App.-Waco 1999, pet. denied (concluding that evidence that plaintiff could no longer do aerobic exercises, she did not walk as well, her knees gave out, and her physician said likelihood of developing arthritis was much higher was sufficient to support award for physical impairment);
  2. Lawson-Avila Constr., Inc. v. Stoutamire, 791 S.W.2d 584, 599, 600 (Tex.App.-San Antonio 1990, writ denied) (noting that physician testified that 27year-old plaintiff would have to restrict his activities for the rest of his life and his condition would become worse over time);
  3. Tri-State Motor Transit Co. v. Nicar, 765 S.W.2d 486, 493 (Tex.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1989, no writ); (concluding that evidence of loss of ability to enjoy recreational sports supported award);
  4. Allen v. Whisenhunt, 603 S.W.2d 242, 244 (Tex.Civ.App.-Houston [14th Dist.] 1980, writ dism'd) (observing that plaintiff could no longer engage in manual labor as an employee or for his own benefit, mow a lawn, or play basketball);
  5. Browning v. Paiz, 586 S.W.2d 670, 675 (Tex.Civ.App.-Corpus Christi 1979, writ ref'd n.r.e.); (observing that physician testified that condition of plaintiff's leg was permanent and the prognosis was poor, perhaps requiring amputation);
  6. Santa Rosa Med. Ctr. v. Robinson,560 S.W.2d 751, 760 (Tex.Civ.App.-San Antonio 1977, no writ) (concluding that evidence of partial paralysis, spasticity, difficulty focusing both eyes, slurring of words, and inability to perform any of the usual tasks of a working man supported award for physical impairment);
  7. Charles T. Picton Lumber Co. v. Redden,452 S.W.2d 713, 723 (Tex.Civ.App.-Corpus Christi 1970, writ ref'd n.r.e.) (noting that plaintiff, a paraplegic, was permanently injured and would require braces, crutches, or a wheel chair);
  8. Dr. Pepper Bottling Co. v. Rainboldt, 66 S.W.2d 496, 501 (Tex.Civ.App.-Waco 1933), rev'd on other grounds, Schroeder v. Rainboldt, 128 Tex. 269, 97 S.W.2d 679 (1936) (plaintiff's bladder was permanently injured and she would be unable to have children);

If you, or someone you are trying to help has an injury that has caused physical impairment, call a Dallas injury lawyer to help. Contact the Law Office of Doug Goyen, a Dallas personal injury lawyer, at (972) 599 4100.

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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