An insurance company or jury determines damages in personal injury cases based on the evidence presented to them. Injuries can change your life in an instant, which is why you should look to an expert personal injury lawyer who can advocate on your behalf if involved in an incident caused by another party’s wrongdoing.
Don’t let the careless disregard of another party deter you from seeking compensation for physical, financial, and emotional damages. The amount and type of compensation you may receive will depend upon all relevant details of the accident, including the type of accident it was and the extent of the injuries resulting from it.
Discussing your case with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer is the best way to determine what potential damages may be available in your case and what steps you should take next. Put your mind at ease about your future by meeting with a personal injury attorney as soon as possible for a free case evaluation.
Our lawyers are ready to increase your chances of receiving full compensation. If you were harmed due to the unsafe actions of another, discussing your options with an experienced personal injury lawyer is in your best interest.
Types of Damages Available in Personal Injury Cases
There are two major categories of damages available in personal injury cases, and both are types of compensatory damages. General damages, or noneconomic damages, relate to damages where there is no determined value such as pain, suffering, and emotional distress. Special damages, or economic damages, compensate victims for economic losses that can be more easily calculated and proven.
Here are some examples of special damages:
- Lost wages
- Medical costs
- Repair or replacement of damaged property
- Physical therapy costs
- Personal care cost
- Cost of home modifications
- Funeral costs in wrongful death suits
Lost wages or loss of earning capacity often make up a large portion of personal injury claims. If you were in the hospital for several weeks and missed work, or your ability to work has been limited, you are entitled to lost wages. Calculating the exact amount for loss of earning capacity begins with estimating how long you may be unable to perform your job duties.
Future medical expenses fall under another category of special damages and usually require expert analysis to determine. Accounting for any continuing care needed in the future is essential to obtaining full recovery for all damages.
Having a clear picture of what special damages are available is important for successful jury deliberation in your case. Discussing your case with an experienced personal injury attorney during an initial consultation will help you identify the type of special damages available in your case, as well as any other damages that might be recoverable in your case.
Every personal injury case is unique, but general damages may include:
- Mental suffering
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship (wrongful death cases)
- Physical pain
- Lowered quality of life
Because general damages are intangible, insurance companies and juries often find them more difficult to calculate than special damages. It is trickier to assign a specific monetary value to mental anguish, for instance, than calculating how much a necessary medical procedure will cost. The severity of your injuries is an example of a factor used to determine the amount of your general damage award.
Most personal injury cases do not result in an award of exemplary damages commonly called punitive damages to the plaintiff. In cases where the defendant’s negligent conduct was especially egregious, a jury may award punitive damages. These damages deter others from engaging in similar behavior, but are not directly designed to compensate the injured party. Hiring a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer is the best way to determine if you may be eligible for punitive damages
Preserving the ability to claim all damages you have suffered in an incident is improved by hiring a personal injury attorney who can help you secure the maximum compensation in your case. Your personal injury attorney can gather pertinent documents in your case, including receipts, medical bills, or pay stubs, for example. Schedule your free case evaluation today.
What Are the Benefits of a Free Case Evaluation?
Most personal injury lawyers do not receive payment unless your case results in an award of money either by verdict or settlement. Having as much documentation as possible is essential. It can assist a jury in deciding the amounts of damages to award, which is why our lawyers are ready to collect all evidence in your case. You can’t predict the future and won’t always know the extent of future medical care you will need. Hiring a qualified personal injury lawyer is an important step in presenting a strong case for full compensation.
Attempting to represent yourself can result in settlement offers that fail to cover the full extent of your damages or mistakes being made that that will limit your recovery. A personal injury attorney has the proper training and educational background to pursue your legal claim in a way offering the best chance for success. If you accept an initial settlement payout from an insurance company, you will be unable to pursue future litigation should your medical issues worsen. Our lawyers understand that no amount of money can return you to your pre-accident state, but securing compensation for your injuries can provide you with the security you need for the future.
After an accident, taking the proper steps to collect evidence and prepare for an eventual case is crucial. Having an expert personal injury lawyer represent you is the best way to ensure every loss is part of your claim. Contact us for a free case evaluation today!
Special Damages FAQs
If I receive a settlement offer I disagree with, what should I do?
You never have to accept a settlement that you believe isn’t fair. Hiring a lawyer in these cases would be in your best interest.
Can I request additional damages after my case settles?
Even if you discover that your medical issues are more severe than you previously realized, you cannot request more money once you have agreed to a settlement.
How much will my case be worth?
The nature of your injuries, the circumstances of your case and the insurance policy limits of any at-fault parties are examples of types of factors used to determine the outcome of your case. During an initial consultation, most attorneys should be able to give you a rough estimate of what your case may be worth based on previous cases they handled.
How long will it take to settle my claim?
Every case is unique, so it is difficult to determine how long it will take to settle your claim. Most personal injury cases settle out of court and, in rare instances, go to trial. When cases require litigation they usually take longer than cases that are settled without litigation. Look for a lawyer who is willing to go to trial and experienced in court if your case is complex or involves significant injuries.
How much do personal injury attorneys cost?
Most personal injury lawyers only receive fees if you are awarded money either by settlement or verdict. This arrangement is beneficial to clients because it means you won’t have to pay anything out of pocket if your case does not reach a successful conclusion.