This is the next post in our series on Fort Worth area injury cases involving a paralyzed victim. Our last post discussed dealing with insurance companies and adjusters after an incident causing paralysis. It is crucial that victims and families of victims do not settle for a quick and cheap amount that is inadequate to cover the large amount of future care needed. In this article we will address how to establish damages in these types of cases. We cannot stress enough the importance of retaining a personal injury lawyer with the necessary resources to handle your case after being involved in a tragic incident.
One of the areas of damages to establish in most all injury cases is the amount of past medical expenses paid or incurred by the victim as a result of the injuries suffered. In Texas, a plaintiff in an injury case can receive compensation for past medical expenses for the amounts actually paid or incurred by the injured party or what the injured party’s health-insurance company actually paid. Another important aspect to medical expenses in a paralysis case is what amount is needed for the victim’s future care. It may be necessary for an expert to be brought into the case to assess the care needed and the long-term costs of the necessary care. In many cases, the defense will also bring in an expert in regards to future medical care who will typically argue for a lower total amount in order to minimize the damages.
In cases involving paralysis, there is a high probability that the injured party will not be able to return to the workforce in the same capacity as he or she was before the injury. This comes into play when looking at the lost wages of the injured party as well as their loss of future earning capacity. This is another area where an expert may be used. This economic harm is established by assessing what the victim was doing prior to the injury, what their future plans were, and the long-term earnings that were in store for that person. It is important to be able to show a jury that if not for the incident causing paralysis, the plaintiff would have earned this amount in the future.
In addition to these economic damages, there are also categories of non-economic damages that are crucial to establish in a paralysis case. A plaintiff may be entitled to recover for things such as physical pain and mental anguish sustained in the past and that in reasonable probability will be sustained in the future; physical impairment sustained in the past and that in reasonable probability will be sustained in the future; and disfigurement sustained in the past and that in reasonable probability will be sustained in the future. As you can imagine, these non-economic damages can be very substantial when an individual suffers a tragic injury that leads to paralysis. It is important to hire an injury attorney with experience handling cases involving traumatic injuries and that understands how to establish both economic and non-economic damages in a way that helps a jury understand what the victim has suffered.
It is important that you select a law firm which primarily handles serious injury cases and in which the attorneys have substantial experience. The firm you select should have a track record and reputation for helping victims of serious injury. You should also select counsel with the resources necessary to see your case through to completion. This is true whether you were injured in Tarrant, Dallas, Johnson, and Wise counties as well as Hurst, Euless, Bedford, Haltom City, Richland Hills, North Richland Hills, Watauga, Grapevine, Colleyville, Southlake, Arlington, Keller, Grand Prairie, Dallas, and the entire state of Texas.