17 Jun What Type of Damages Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Case?
A personal injury can change a person’s life drastically. It leaves the injured person battling pain and suffering, expensive medical bills, emotional trauma, lost wages, and more.
The injured person does not have to bear these financial and emotional burdens alone, however, especially when the injury is caused by the negligent act of another. The injured person can demand a sum as compensation for the loss. This monetary sum is known as “damages”.
Pursuing a personal injury case goes beyond seeking compensation for the loss. You need to know what type of damages to claim for. Or you may end up getting less than you deserve.
Achieving success in these cases depends on getting the right information about your rights, and working with an experienced attorney who can find it for you. In this article, our Polk personal injury attorney explains what damages are available to recover in a personal injury case and how to go about it.
Types of Damages
There are different types of damages that can be awarded for a personal injury case. They include:
Special damages, also known as ‘economic damages’ and ‘out-of-pocket expenses, are a type of compensatory damage that matches a loss to a specific amount of money measured for it.
Special damages are sought to restore the injured persons to the state they were before they had the injury. So, they are paid to cover the expenses to be made as a result of the injury.
For example, where a person was injured for a specific period of time, they may seek damages to recover the amount of money they would have earned in that time. The most common examples of special damages include:
Special damages are awarded for all the expenses that will be spent throughout the period of the injury. While some injuries require short-term expenses to be paid, some others require long-term expenses.
It is important to take note of all expenses made during medical consultations. An injured person will not be awarded any expenses they did not specifically ask for. This may serve as a checklist of medical expenses:
- Consultation fee
- Diagnostic tests
- Physical therapy
- Medical devices
- Live-in caregivers
- Other costs
If an injury prevents you from resuming at work for a period of time, you are entitled to be paid the wages you would have earned, if you were not injured.
To calculate this, you must take note of how you were absent at work. Then you can calculate earnings.
You may also ask for special damages for special gifts that may have come to you, if you didn’t have to stay back from work because of an injury. These may include:
- Other perks
Expenses made on moving an injured person around should be summed up and included in the claim for special damages. You may even include future costs of transportation.
Loss of Earning Capacity
An injury that keeps you away from work for a long time, and tampers with your ability to make earnings in the future, is a serious one. This can totally affect your future career life. Therefore, you need to engage the services of a personal injury attorney who will help determine how much damage can be claimed.
If you have an injury that affects your ability to move around or do the things you could do, you may need to hire others who can do them for you. The cost of doing so may be claimed as compensation.
Damage to Property
If your property is damaged as a result of the injury, you can seek compensation for the damage done to your property. You may evaluate the cost of the property according to the current market prices, and demand for repairs or a replacement.
You may need to have photographs of the property and other documents that show evidence of loss.
Special damages are quite straightforward to deal with. At Sara Jones Law, P.A, we have personal injury attorneys who can guide you through the process.
General damages are usually demanded for losses that cannot be measured. These are more for losses to the human, and cannot be evaluated physically. They include:
Pain and Suffering
If you have been involved in an accident that is caused by another person, then you may have gone through pain and trauma, mental anguish, depression, or even anxiety.
You may have also experienced a permanent disability. You may demand monetary compensation for the pain you suffered. The personal injury attorneys at Sara Jones Law, P.A. can help you determine the perfect amount to demand.
We know that extra money will not take the pain away. But it can provide you with the closure you require during these times and also help you move on with your life.
Loss of Consortium
A personal injury may cause a person to behave differently towards their loved ones. This loss qualifies the spouse of the person injured to claim damages for ‘loss of consortium’. The following may qualify as a loss of consortium. They include:
- Loss of companionship
- Lack of sexual relations
- Diminished affection
Personal injuries may bring emotional trauma. It is normal to feel fear and anxiety. You may even feel depressed. You can claim damages for all the ways you suffer emotional trauma.
Other examples of human loss requiring general damages include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical impairment
Certain factors may determine the amount of general damages to be claimed. The severity of the injury and the length of time, are factors to be considered when determining the cost of general damages.
A victim may find it quite hard to prove that they deserve damages for trauma suffered. This is because one cannot easily determine the extent of damage to human emotions and feelings. This is where an experienced Polk personal injury lawyer can help.
Punitive damages, also called exemplary damages, are rarely awarded. When a court orders a person to pay punitive damages, it means that they are to pay compensatory damages–general or special damages–an extra fine.
It is occasionally awarded in cases against manufacturers of defective products. With punitive damages, one stone is used to kill two birds. It serves to punish the party at fault, and deter others from towing the same line.
Wrongful Death Damages
The surviving family members of wrongful death victims are entitled to damages for their loss. They may demand damages for the pre-death medical expenses and funeral expenses after the death of their loved one.
What do I need to Recover Damages?
It is necessary to support your claims with evidence to show loss and the need for compensation. Medical reports, receipts of all expenses, and other documents are needed to claim special damages. So, it is important to keep these documents in safe custody.
Why Do You Need a Personal Injury Attorney?
Hiring a personal injury attorney helps boost the success rate of your case. Your lawyer helps make sure you do not get less than you deserve or should be entitled to in the circumstances. For questions and further guidance on how to go about a personal injury case, contact Sara Jones Law, P.A today.