Personal injury cases can be quite a handful for both the plaintiff and the defendant. Most personal injury cases are always complex and can take years before they are settled. However the duration can be reduced if you are represented by an experienced personal injury lawyer. Personal injury cases are filed when the plaintiff succumbs to injuries as a result of the defendant’s negligence to prevent the injury from occurring in his/her premises.
This article aims to discuss with you the concept of some of the damages to watch out for in a personal injury claim.
The compensation or “damages” in a personal injury case are usually intended to attempt to make the plaintiff whole again, or at least, somewhere close to that, after an injury. In some cases, where it isn’t entirely possible to make the plaintiff whole, quantifying the total damages can be difficult like trying to quantify things like pain and suffering.
Types of damages
Damages caused by personal claim injuries can vary a lot depending on the type of case, the laws of the state, and the circumstances of the injury the victim suffers. Personal injury damages can include the following:
1. Lost wages
The compensation for lost income or wages is usually one of the aspects of a damages award you find in a personal injury case. They can include the payments for any kind of work that the plaintiff couldn’t do as a result of the personal injuries suffered due to the defendant’s negligence on his/her premises. If the plaintiff was permanently injured due to the injury, but was working and earning then the defendant may be required to pay the full salary for the entire time the plaintiff would have been paid had he/she kept working.
2. Pain and suffering
Significant injuries, in most cases, tend to attract huge compensations. Personal injuries can sometimes be accompanied by a lot of pain and suffering especially in cases where the injuries lead to permanent disabilities. In most cases, it is the insurance companies who are usually inclined to compensate the plaintiffs.
3. Emotional distress
Accidents or injuries can sometimes cause the victims a lot of emotional ramifications which are usually proven by psychiatric records. Other things like PTSD can also add to the total compensation amount as well.
4. Damages for the cost of medical bills which arise as a result of the injuries caused by the accident
In case the plaintiff has to undergo any testing or treatments or receive any medical attention of any kind like a nursing home or hospital stays, or even physical therapy, the defendant is obligated to foot all the costs. These costs can total up to become quite expensive especially if there are multiple surgeries and therapies involved.
5. Wrongful death
These types of lawsuits can be brought about by one of the family members of the victims who succumb to their injuries and die as a result of someone else’s negligence. But the family member has to have a standing on the issue. For example, a spouse can suffice and is allowed to bring the wrongful death action in every state. Parents can also file such a case on behalf of their minor children.
6. Loss of consortium/companionship
This action can be brought by a family member of the victim who dies and whose death significantly alters the lives of the family members left behind. Especially if the victim was the one supporting the family financially. The defendant has to compensate the family member who has lost his/her partner especially in cases where the two had an intimate relationship.
7. Punitive damages
Some states don’t allow punitive damages, but they are allowed, they aren’t like most of the damages discussed above. Although they are also paid to the plaintiff, they are mostly intended to punish the defendant instead for the wrongful behavior or negligent acts.
Economic vs. non-economic damages
The economic damages are those that are awarded as a direct result of any actual financial loss like medical bills or even lost wages.
The non-economic damages refer to all of the other kinds of damages which can point toward some financial costs as well as pain and suffering.