Imagine that you are in a
trucking accident while traveling across Texas. You suffer a broken leg and a broken arm,
and your vehicle is totaled. The hospital charges you $25,000 for treatment
until you can be safely released and your vehicle could have fetched $25,000
if you sold it the day before the crash. You also took 6 months to fully
recover and lost another $25,000 worth of wages you should have been earning.
When you go to create a lawsuit against the trucking company that caused
the accident, your economic damages are pretty simple to calculate. Just
add together your medical bills, repair costs, and lost wages to figure
it out. In this scenario, you should get at least $75,000.
But economic damages don’t do anything to put compensation into your
own pocket. All they do is put you back where you should’ve been
had you never been hurt in the first place. They also don’t account
for two of the most troubling after-effects of an accident: pain and suffering.
Nominal Damages: How to Calculate Them
In nearly all
personal injury claims, the plaintiff is given the opportunity to request “nominal damages”
alongside economic damages. In simple terms, nominal damages are monetary
amounts awarded to the plaintiff in regards to any mental trauma and emotional
anguish they suffered due to their accident. This is already a very subjective
topic. Some people can step on a nail and not flinch, and others squirm
with pain just from nipping their cuticle. So how can pain and suffering
be represented in a clear monetary value if it is wholly up for interpretation?
For the most part, it can’t be. When a person makes a personal injury
claim and wants nominal damages – remembering that economic damages
will only help them return to normal life, not necessarily help them recover
further or find peace of mind – they can, more or less, determine
their own nominal damage amount they would like to be awarded. A careful
balancing act thus begins, as asking for too little could leave a plaintiff
feeling cheated but demanding too much could make a judge dismiss it as
At Dean Law Firm in West Texas, we can help you with your personal injury
claim and calculate a nominal damages amount that considers your needs
and uphold your best interests. We can analyze your medical bills and
compare your case to previous examples in the past to determine a fair
amount of compensation. Call
432.214.8125 today or
contact our Midland-Odessa personal injury attorney online, and we will get back
to you as soon as possible to schedule a
free case review.