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An Overview of Personal Injury Compensation

— April 20, 2022

Punitive damages or exemplary damages punish a party for its irresponsible behavior, and these damages typically far exceed the amount awarded for compensatory ones.

Personal injury claims can be of different types. The compensation should include something to cover all or most of your medical bills and injuries if you are to pursue a claim successfully. However, for this, you need to understand what you can claim and why. Common personal injury cases include boat accidents, automobile accidents, slip and fall, birth room error, medical malpractice, animal bites, worker’s compensation, etc. 

Types of compensation

Generally, two types of damages are relevant for personal liability compensation. The first is compensatory damages, and the second is punitive. Compensatory damages relate to losses from one’s injury like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. Even emotional wounds can qualify for compensatory damages in some circumstances. Many types of costs can feature in this list, but the important thing is that they require documentation as to what occurred when you suffered an injury due to someone else’s negligence.

On the other hand, punitive damages go more in-depth by punishing the party who caused you harm. These can entail financial sanctions or even imprisonment if applicable. However, these instances tend to be less frequent than the other. Most compensations fall under these two except workers’ compensation. Since legal understanding plays a huge role in determining what you should ask for and why seeking professional help from agencies like Goldberg Finnegan can be helpful. Before that, let’s dig into the main two damages.

Exploring compensatory damages

Compensatory or economic damages cover any out-of-pocket expenses you had to pay or income you lost due to an accident. That way, if you were the victim of a reckless driver who caused you pain and suffering (and worse), special damages compensate you for those things in financial terms. Some examples include the cost of hospital stays and treatment, rehabilitation, physical therapy, prescription medication, ambulance, etc. You can also seek compensation for damaged property, including a family heirloom, inability to go on planned international trips, etc. These are special compensations. General compensatory damage includes physical impairment, loss of quality of life, mental and emotional suffering, etc. Wrongful death damage is also there.

Exploring punitive damages

Punitive damages or exemplary damages punish a party for its irresponsible behavior, and these damages typically far exceed the amount awarded for compensatory ones. Such damages include fraud or assault, gross negligence, malicious intent, and others. If a court does not believe that the comp-damages are sufficient to prevent the defendant from repeating his mistakes, punitive damage will occur. The intent of punitive is not only to compensate you for your injuries but also to prevent the same individual from doing such things again by discouraging them from continuing their ways. 

Any personal or financial suffering from an accident may never get compensated in real terms, especially if they scar you mentally, emotionally, and physically. But claiming damage may make a few things easy to deal with, at least for your family. However, it’s a legal process; hence, it is better to leave this job to the experts. Only personal injury lawyers can get you the type of compensation you deserve.

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