A serious, life altering accident can initially seem overwhelming, especially given the physical,
emotional and financial obstacles that will likely follow. If you were injured as a result of someone else’s negligent conduct, you may be entitled to certain “damages”. The different classifications of damages, and extent to which you may be entitled, depends on several factors. An experienced personal injury lawyer will be able to evaluate your accident in order to claim the proper damages. The following explains some of the damages typically found in a personal injury case:
Compensatory damages seek to reimburse or compensate an injured party for the harm they have suffered. The goal is to make the injured party “whole” through some monetary award by attempting to place them in the same physical/emotional/financial position they would have been in, had the accident never occurred. Compensatory damages is a very broad term and encompasses many different types of loss, however they are generally broken down into two main categories:
1. Special Compensatory Damages
Special damages compensate an injured party for the monetary expenses incurred as a result of an accident. This most commonly includes medical bills, lost wages (both now and in the future), future medical expenses, household expenses, and costs to restore property damage. There is ordinarily no limit to how much you can claim because special damages are based on a measurable dollar amount of actual loss. These costs are important for helping you get back on your feet after an injury.
2. General Compensatory Damages
General compensatory damages are made to compensate non-monetary damages. These damages are more subjective since they are intangible, thus they are much more difficult to calculate. The most common general damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish and loss of consortium.
Punitive damages are sometimes awarded to an injured party in order to punish the defendant for their particularly egregious conduct. This category of damages is also seen as a means of deterring others from similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are not associated with the “compensatory” aspect of the claim, so the basis for the punishment is left to the jury and varies in each case.
If you believe you are entitled to damages suffered as a result of a personal injury, you should contact a lawyer near you. It is important that you speak with your lawyer prior to submitting to any sworn statements so you can understand your legal rights and obligations. Hyberg, White & Mann offers a free consultation to those looking to pursue damages for personal injury claims. Call them at 609-407-1000 or schedule a consultation online at HWMLaw.com.
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