For personal injuries, those who win in a civil action are naturally entitled to get damages. An award’s precise amount in a personal injury case is determined by the jury on a particular basis. These are the things you should know about damages personal injury. Damages: How Much is a Personal Injury Case Worth? by Nolo has the information.
“How Plaintiff’s Actions (or Inaction) Can Affect a Damages Award
In some cases, an injured person’s role in causing an accident — or their inaction after being injured — can diminish the amount of damages available in a personal injury case.
Comparative negligence. If you’re at fault (even partially) for the accident that caused your injuries, chances are that any damage award will reflect that. That’s because most states adhere to a “comparative negligence” standard that links damages to degree of fault in a personal injury case.
Contributory negligence. In the small handful of states that follow the concept of “contributory negligence” for personal injury lawsuits, you may not be able to recover any compensation at all if you’re deemed partially to blame for the accident.
After the accident: failure to mitigate damages. The law in most states expects plaintiffs in personal injury cases to take reasonable steps to minimize or “mitigate” the financial impact of the harm caused by the accident. If an injured plaintiff just sits back and rests on their proverbial laurels when it isn’t reasonable to do so (by failing to get necessary medical treatment after an accident, and making their injuries much worse, for example) a damages award might be significantly reduced.”
Personal Injury Cases: Compensatory Damages
If you’re thinking about submitting a personal injury case over a slip and fall, a vehicle crash, or any other type of injury, then you may be wondering about what your case is really worth. You need to figure out what the injuries have cost you financially, mentally, and physically (and, in a few instance, whether the defendant’s conduct ought to be punished).
The majority of personal injury damages are deemed as “compensatory,” which means that they’re intended to repay the injured party for what was lost because of the injury or accident. An award of compensatory damages is intended to make the harmed party “whole” again from a financial viewpoint. This means attempting to put a monetary figure on all an accident’s consequences.
A few compensatory damages are quite simple to quantify – such as reimbursement for medical bills and property damage. But it is more difficult to place a financial value on suffering and pain, or the incapacity to enjoy hobbies due to physical limitations because of persistent accident-related injuries.
Types of Compensation in a Personal Injury Case by AllLaw includes the categories of compensation awarded to the successful plaintiff. Here they are:
“Special Compensatory Damages
Special damages compensate for monetary expenses incurred because of an injury. They are unique to the individual victim and vary significantly from one party to the next. An award of special damages should make a victim whole for expenses incurred or for money lost due to the incident or accident that caused their injuries.
Special damages cover any expense or loss related to an injury, and there is no limit to the types of special damage claims that can be made, or to the amount an injured party can claim.
General Compensatory Damages
General damages compensate an injured individual for non-monetary damages incurred in an injury claim. They are called general damages because they address harm that is typically or “generally” sustained in an injury. All personal injury victims are expected to have at least some general damages.
Wrongful Death Damages
A wrongful death claim provides damages for surviving family and loved ones.
Punitive damages are only awarded to an injured plaintiff when the wrongful behavior of the defendant was despicable or reprehensible. A common scenario where punitive damages are awarded arises when a defendant is found guilty of wanton or malicious acts or of fraud. These acts might include aggravated battery, sexual assault, or fraudulent behavior that causes widespread financial harm.”
Here is a rundown of the various types of common compensatory damages in numerous personal injury lawsuits.
- Medical treatment. In personal injury cases, a damages award nearly always includes medical care expenses associated with the injury — reimbursement of the treatment you have already received as well as payment for the estimated medical care cost you will eventually need due to the accident.
- Income. You could be entitled to get compensation for the effect of the accident on your wages — not just wages you have already lost, but the money you would’ve made in the future as well. In personal injury jargon, a damage award according to future income is categorized as compensation for a plaintiff’s “loss of earning capacity.”
- Property loss. If any cars or other items were destroyed due to the accident, then you will likely be entitled to compensation for repairs or reimbursement for the damaged property’s fair market value.
- Pain and suffering. You may get compensation for serious discomfort and pain you suffered throughout the accident as well as in its direct aftermath – also, for any constant pain attributed to the accident.
- Emotional distress. Emotional distress damages are intended to reimburse a personal injury victim for the mental effect of an injury — including anxiety, fear, or sleep loss. A few states deem emotional distress as a component of any damage to “pain and suffering” that is given to a plaintiff.
- Loss of enjoyment. When accidental injuries keep you from reveling in daily pursuits such as exercise, hobbies, and other leisure activities, you could be entitled to get damages for “loss of enjoyment.”
- Loss of consortium. In personal injury lawsuits, damages for “loss of consortium” normally relate to the effect the injuries have on the relationship of the victim with their spouse — for instance, the loss of companionship or the incapacity to have a sexual relationship.
Also, a few states consider the separate effect on the parent-child relationship when one is harmed. In a few instances, loss of consortium damages is given straight to the distressed family member instead of to the victim.
If you have injured in an accident and would like to learn about the various damages you ought to receive, click on the article above.