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Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
A personal injury lawsuit is one of the most common ways for the victim to get justice after an injury due to negligence. Most of the cases go all the way to trial, which is followed by post-trial settlement.
If the case is settled then the victim pays a lump sum to the attorneys who represent them. Lawyers charge these fees from the victims with the court proceedings. This also includes compensatory damages as well as punitive damages, which are usually awarded to the plaintiffs.
Damages can be a matter of loss of income, for example, or home repairs, or even medical expenses. It can be financial damages, as with property damage, or emotional, as with physical injuries.
There are broadly two main types of damages in personal injury lawsuit namely: Compensatory damages & Punitive damages
1) Compensatory damages:
Compensatory damages are money given to plaintiffs as compensation for the loss they suffered. One pays these damages out of their own pocket to avoid putting the plaintiff's lawyers out of business.
The purpose of compensatory damages is to put the plaintiff back in the position where he or she is before the injury.
Compensatory damages are further subdivided into two categories: general damages(non-monetary losses) and special damages(monetary losses).
● General Compensatory Damages
General damages are used for non-financial losses which may be very difficult to calculate.
A victim would have to estimate the humiliation and trauma they suffered and take an average, to account for these costs which always vary according to victims and is difficult to determine pain & trauma faced by an individual.
One can prove such damages with the help of medical bills, medical records, injury pictures, psychiatric records, etc.
Damages in such general compensatory losses include:
- Pain & suffering
- Mental trauma or anguish
- Loss of consortium or togetherness
- The amount the person would lose due to his psychological or emotional distress.
● Special Compensatory Damages
Special damages are used for financial losses incurred during the injury and are easy to calculate as the exact value of financial loss can be calculated in numbers with the help of medical bills, amount of earning, cost of the property, and bills of funeral expenses, etc
The number of such damages varies differently for different injuries and according to various parties involved.
Damages in special compensatory losses include:
There is no limit to types of special compensatory damages that can be made or claimed.
- The amount that the person would lose in wages, salary, or income.
- Loss of pension or medical benefits due to prolonged hospitalization or post-hospitalization treatment.
- Loss of other property, like an automobile or equipment.
- Household expenses
2) Punitive damages
Punitive damages, on the other hand, are a form of fines. In a simple case, an award of punitive damages is a warning that the court will not hesitate to award significant monetary penalties to the defendant if the defendant fails to follow through on his or her promises to prevent similar damage in the future. These fines typically range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per day.
Punitive damages are not awarded in every personal injury case. These damages are not covered under general damages, but must be paid by the parties.
Law has set the limit to punitive damages in order to avoid excessive award which is less than ten times the amount of compensatory damages.
- The amount the person would lose if he is found guilty of an offense in the future.
- Sexual assault
Punitive damages are different from compensatory damages because punitive damages serve as punishment for the defendant's misconduct.
Contact our lawyer for your personal injury case:
If you or anyone you know was injured and who deserves to be compensated for the injury, contact the personal injury attorneys in USA at Lawyer4Help
Call us for a free consultation today at +1 (307) 828 1476.