As it relates to car accidents, to “compensate” means to give money due to an injury or suffering that a person has undergone as a result of someone’s negligence. The two type of compensatory damages include general and actual damages. General damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, future medical costs, etc. Actual damages are damages which relate to actual out of pocket medical expenses, lost wages, property loss, etc.
Some recent Texas laws have limited the amount of medical bills we can actually get credit for, to the paid or incurred medical bills. For example, if you went to the ER as a result of an auto accident and the hospital charged $30,000 for your stay there; and your health insurance company negotiated a discount for that bill (most Health insurance companies have a pre-negotiated rate for medical services) and only paid $5,000; then we can only submit $5,000 as your actual or incurred bills. As you can imagine, this conservative Insurance company inspired law has left a terrible wake in the value of our personal injury cases.
Punitive damages are designed to punish and deter defendants and future defendants for their gross negligence or intentional conduct. They have nothing to do with actual damages and are set by a judge or jury of one’s peers at the conclusion of a trial. Punitive damages in our conservative state are harder and harder to come by these days. Gross negligence is the requirement, which is a tough standard to hold.
Court Costs and Attorney’s Fees
If you win your court case you may be entitled to the recovery of some of the case expenses. The expenses that are usually repaid include filing fees and other court costs. Expert fees and attorney’s fees (contingency) fees are rarely recovered in a judgment. It is very important to speak with us before you decide to file suit, as the math needs to make sense. Jury trials with depositions, transcripts, expert fees, videographers, mediation costs, have become very expensive and many times are not justified on small damage cases.
If you or a loved one is in need of legal assistance, call Funk & Associates at 512-472-FUNK (3865) or toll free 1-888-472-FUNK (3865) or contact us online. The initial consultation is free of charge, and if we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis, which means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds. In many cases, a lawsuit must be filed before an applicable expiration date, known as a statute of limitations. Please call right away to ensure that you do not waive your right to possible compensation.