What are the types of damages arising from personal injury?
Sep 23, 2021 05:43 PM EDT
When it comes to civil cases, plaintiffs are generally able to recover two types of damages under personal injury law: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Punitive damages are intended to deter the defendant's negligence or bad conduct. However, the types of damages that your attorney will go over with you in more detail specific to your case are compensatory damages.
There are two types of compensatory damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages are the financial losses that you suffered because of your accident or the losses that you will incur in the future. Economic damages include:
● Past and future medical expenses
● Lost wages
● Lost earning capacity
● Rehabilitation, including physical therapy and vocational rehabilitation
● Property damage, such as a vehicle
● Out-of-pocket expenses related to the injuries
These are tangible damages that can be quantified by looking at your bills, statements, and medical records. You will also include your salary and wage information. In order to receive future damages for future medical expenses, the plaintiff's physician will need to provide a testimony outlining their diagnosis and prognosis.
Economic damages may also include household services that the victim needs as a result of their injuries. For example, if a victim hires a housekeeper, then the costs incurred from needing housekeeping services can be included in their economic damages.
Non-economic damages compensate a victim for the pain and suffering that they experienced as a result of the accident. These are intangible losses that include:
● Physical pain
● Loss of enjoyment of activities
● Emotional anguish
● Post traumatic stress disorder
● Loss of the use of a body part
● Worsening of prior injuries or condition
● Loss of companionship if the accident also resulted in a wrongful death
Although no insurance adjuster gives the exact formula for how they come up with a settlement amount, there are some general guidelines. After all of your economic expenses are totaled, they are calculated again with a multiplier between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of your pain and suffering. For example, a minor accident with minor injuries could result in a total of $1500 worth of damages for the plaintiff. If their multiplier is 1.5, their settlement will be $2,250.
The Issa Law Firm warns that when you file a personal injury claim, the defendant or the insurance company is very likely to have their own attorney or team of attorneys. Even if you think that your personal injury claim is straightforward, it's a wise idea to seek professional legal counsel to ensure that your rights are protected and that you receive the money you deserve for your claim. They also stress the importance of working with an experienced personal injury attorney because they will know the important deadlines for your case. Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis which means that you do not pay a dime unless they win your case. Therefore, there is no risk in reaching out to a skilled personal injury attorney to schedule a free case evaluation!