Physical Impairment from Accidents in Dallas

Doug Goyen, Attorney

The Law Office of Doug Goyen represents people who have been injured in car accidents. We seek compensation for accidents-related injuries, including physical impairment. If you have been physically harmed as a result of someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for your injuries. Call our office today to learn more about your legal options. We will begin working on your case right away. For a free consultation, call (972) 599 4100.

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

The majority of Texas courts hold that the claimed physical impairment must be permanent and interfere with physical activities.

Temporary injuries, according to some Texas courts, cause physical impairment and may be compensated.

The physical impairment claimed must be more than just a loss of earning capacity, and it must be more than just pain and suffering – as these are separate elements of damages that can be recovered under the law (no double recovery in other words). The physical impairment must be severe enough that it “causes a separate and distinct loss that is significant 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).

Courts have allowed awards for physical impairment in the following cases (and thus an injured person with a similar injury should be able to make a claim for physical impairment in those cases):

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);

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);

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);

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);

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);

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);

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);

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);

Texas law provides compensation for people who have been injured, including those who have suffered physical harm as a result of an accident. Call the Law Office of Doug Goyen; we have over 23 years of experience getting our clients compensation. Contact us at (972) 599 4100. There is no fee unless and until you win!

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