What are the different types of damages that can be recovered in a personal injury case?

Both general and special damages are considered compensatory damages, meaning that their purpose is to restore compensation to victims for their losses. These damages are sometimes referred to as “non-economic” and “economic”. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the victim, but to punish the defendant for causing the injuries to the victim and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. Punitive damages are generally awarded when the defendant's conduct has been especially egregious or outrageous.

Punitive damages are not awarded in all personal injury cases and cannot be considered unless compensation for damages has been ordered. To avoid compensation for excessive punitive damages, courts often limit punitive damages to less than ten times the amount of compensatory damages. Recipients of large personal injury compensation may choose to receive compensation in the form of a structured agreement. Structured agreements serve as an alternative to compensation for lump-sum damages.

Structured settlements disburse compensation for harm to the victim on a monthly or annual basis for a specified period of time. Choosing a structured settlement has many benefits, such as lower federal and state income taxes and a greater chance that the defendant will get his money back. Because each victim's financial needs are different, those considering a structured settlement should first consult an attorney and financial planning professional. Personal injury cases based on negligence can award both economic and non-economic damages, but punitive damages are only awarded if a criminal offence has occurred.

If someone committed a crime against you and caused your injuries, you can sue the author for the damages and collect accordingly. Economic damages are awarded to victims to recover the financial losses associated with their injuries. These damages are intended to alleviate some or all of the plaintiff's financial burden. Damages are calculated based on the fair market price at the time the incident occurred.

It is not easy to assign a monetary value to non-economic damages, since they can encompass general pain and suffering. These damages are less tangible compared to economic damages. General damages include future losses, which will be incurred due to loss of income and any future medical care that may be needed in the future. Insurance companies generally find it easier to grant economic damages because they are specific.

For example, it's easier to document medical bills because their costs are shown in receipts, invoices, and market prices of equipment. However, non-economic damages are difficult to assess, since people don't measure pain and loss with money. Punitive damages are awarded to punish the accused for criminal conduct. Punishment is intended to prevent others from engaging in the same behavior.

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in Florida. For punitive damages to be awarded, the defendant's conduct must have been malicious or reckless. Personal injury compensation almost always includes the cost of medical care related to the accident, reimbursement for treatment you have already received, and compensation for the estimated cost of medical care you will need in the future because of the accident. You may be entitled to compensation for the impact of the accident on your salary and not only for the income you have already lost, but also for the money you could have earned in the future if it hadn't been for the accident.

In personal injury legal jargon, compensation for damages based on future income is often characterized as compensation for the loss of the earning capacity of the victim of an accident. Loss of property. If any vehicle, clothing, or other item was damaged as a result of the accident, you may be entitled to reimbursement for repairs or compensation for the fair market value of the property that was lost. You may be entitled to receive compensation for the pain and severe discomfort you suffered during the accident and immediately thereafter, as well as for any ongoing pain that may be attributed to the accident.

Learn more about pain and suffering in a personal injury case. Usually related to more serious accidents, emotional distress damages are intended to compensate the personal injury plaintiff for the psychological impact of an injury, including fear, anxiety, and loss of sleep. Some states consider emotional distress as part of any pain and suffering damages awarded to a personal injury plaintiff. If an injured plaintiff sits back and rests on their proverbial laurels when it is not reasonable to do so (for example, by not receiving the necessary medical treatment after an accident and worsening their injuries), compensation for damages could be significantly reduced.

Learn more about personal injury defenses. And, in the rare event that a personal injury lawsuit goes to trial, a judge or jury can order compensation for damages. If you're still looking for a personal injury lawyer to help you explore your options in a high-value case, the experienced lawyers at Mithoff Law are here to help. But just to be clear, most personal injury cases are resolved out of court, often without a lawsuit being filed.

If you or a loved one suffered a personal injury due to someone else's negligence, you can hire a Miami personal injury lawyer to help you calculate the total costs and value of your losses. In that situation, the person responsible for your injury (or your insurance company) could make you a “take or not” offer below the value of your injury claim, requiring you to spend the time and expense of filing a lawsuit if you want a fair outcome for your case. When victims of a personal injury cannot participate in activities that once brought them joy (activities such as participating in the lives of their children, playing an instrument, or playing a sport), they can seek compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life. These two types of personal injury compensation are the general framework for all other types of compensation you can receive (excluding workers' compensation).

In the few states that follow the concept of contributory negligence in personal injury lawsuits, you may not be able to recover any compensation if you are found to be partially at fault for the accident. However, the types of personal injury compensation can be more specific, and in fact they do; let's look at these branches now. Often referred to as “economic damages,” this type of personal injury compensation includes quantifiable and out-of-pocket expenses. Every time you file a personal injury claim and the medical care you receive is related to that claim, your health insurance company or healthcare provider will likely notice that.

In some cases, the role of an injured person in causing an accident or their inaction after suffering an injury can decrease the amount of damages available in a personal injury case. .

Denise Sheperd
Denise Sheperd

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