Damages are one of the most important parts of a personal injury claim and a vital part of securing personal injury compensation.
Damages refer to any losses that a person incurs as a result of an incident or accident. Personal injury damages will be calculated by your lawyer into a total amount that the defendant is liable to pay as compensation for the damage caused.
If you have any questions about personal injury damages or the process of a personal injury lawsuit, contact us. The attorneys at Bodewell Law are here to help.
What are the Types of Personal Injury Damages?
As mentioned above, damages are the total losses a person suffers from an accident. A personal injury lawyer will help calculate these damages and provide insight on further damages you may be entitled to.
Most people only consider injuries and tangible objects, but damages resulting from an accident can go far beyond injuries and property damage. Personal injury damages can also include mental anguish, pain and suffering damages, emotional distress damages, and more.
The two types of personal injury damages are:
- Economic damages: Damages in an accident that have an attached monetary value. These types of damages can be easily calculated with the help of medical bills, repair receipts, and other documentary evidence.
- Non economic damages: These damages are not easily calculated but still are important to seek adequate compensation for. These damages typically include mental anguish or emotional distress, among other incalculable damages.
Common Examples of Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits
Whether it be a car accident, slip and fall incident, premises liability injury claim, or any other personal injury case, damages typically overlap in some capacity.
All possible damages are not listed below – contact a personal injury attorney from Bodewell Law to better understand which damages may be relevant in your personal injury claim.
Common examples of damages in personal injury lawsuits include:
Medical bills and medical expenses are one of the first damages considered by a personal injury attorney. These damages are easily calculated and rely on your ability to gather and safeguard evidence such as receipts, doctors notes, and other medical records that speak to the validity of your claims.
Damages awarded for medical expenses can cover the cost of past treatments and any out of pocket expenses, but also routinely cover future medical expenses, physical therapy, rehabilitation, and other medical treatments.
Lost income and lost wages are also easily calculated. When a person is injured, they may miss substantial time at work and risk losing their job entirely. A personal injury attorney will gather pay-stubs and will be able to identify the amount of lost income a person has suffered.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering damages refer to the physical pain and suffering inflicted on a person as a result of an accident. Pain and suffering isn’t easily calculated, but coupled with medical bills and notes from doctor/hospital visits, the extent of physical pain and suffering can be clarified and understood.
Physical disfigurement may also be included in pain and suffering, but can be included as a separate damage.
Any property that is damaged as a result of an accident can be covered in financial compensation. In a car accident personal injury case for example, the repair or replacement cost of your vehicle can be covered.
Wrongful death damages are brought when a person dies as a result of an accident that was no fault of their own. Wrongful death cases are extremely serious. Refer to our page on wrongful death laws for more information.
What are Compensatory Damages?
Compensatory damages are known as “actual damages” and refer to most, if not all, of the damages listed previously on this page. Compensatory damages compensate victims/plaintiffs for the impacts of their injuries caused by the defendant’s conduct to a specific monetary value.
Compensatory damages include only the calculated total amount of damages, nothing more.
The two types of compensatory damages are special damages and general damages.
Special damages are damages that can be calculated: medical treatment costs, lost income, property damage, and any other damages with a receipt attached.
General damages include damages that are not easily calculated and are rather subjective: emotional distress, mental health effects, loss of quality of life, and more. The more serious an accident is, the higher the general damages will be.
What are Punitive Damages?
Punitive damages are used as punishment for a defendant’s conduct. Punitive damages can be used to set an example and deter anyone else from acting in a similar way due to the sheer amount of money owed.
Punitive damages are common in personal injury cases involving large companies or corporations who have acted negligently. Punitive damages are added on top of compensatory damages.
Is There a Limit on the Damages an Injured Plaintiff can Claim?
Though laws are different in each state, an injured plaintiff is generally barred from claiming damages above a certain dollar amount.
Defendants rely on their insurance company to pay out for personal injury cases. If a high damage award is to be paid by a defendant, their insurance company is actually the entity paying for the lawsuit. If the damages awarded to an injured person are substantial, an insurance company may raise their rates and start a chain reaction for the whole country.
Rules are also put in place to avoid frivolous lawsuits from being filed for substantial amounts. Limits differ state by state, but there is a federal cap of $250,000 for medical malpractice lawsuits.
How a Personal Injury Attorney Can Help You
An experienced personal injury lawyer can help assess and calculate your damages, fight for additional compensation, and ultimately secure your damage award in the form of financial compensation.
An injured person and their family members may be hesitant to reach out for legal help soon after an accident. The legal process can seem daunting and overwhelming, and going the route of an insurance claim may seem like a quick and easy way to get compensated for someone else’s negligence.
However, an insurance claim will not necessarily secure the adequate amount of compensation needed to fully recover from an injury.
While lawsuits are handled on a case by case basis and all settlement negotiations are different, you can be assured that hiring a personal injury lawyer will help pay for the costs and effects of an accident much more so than any insurance company is willing to offer. Insurance companies are designed to minimize costs, and will often deny valid injury claims.
Bodwell Law: Your Personal Injury Law Firm
Consider hiring a passionate lawyer from Bodewell Law for your personal injury case. Our experienced attorneys have been handling complex cases for decades and have secured significant settlements for people harmed at no fault of their own.
We will work hard to secure adequate personal injury compensation in your case and forge a trusting, progressive attorney client relationship.
Our team knows the ins and outs of civil litigation and will protect any sensitive or confidential information you allow us access to in order to file your claim.
Contact us for a free legal consultation to discuss your options and find out how we can help you. Our free consultation comes with no obligation.
We’re here to help, reach out to us today.