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What Damages Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

— July 20, 2021

Regardless of the damages you wish to pursue it is crucial to reach out to experts.

If you were injured in an accident caused by the negligence or malintent of another, you can receive compensation for your pain and suffering. Before you file a lawsuit against the suspect, it is essential to have a clear view of the types of damages you can pursue. 

Damages that can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit can be grouped into two main categories, compensatory and punitive. These can then be further divided into subcategories. As a plaintiff, you are not limited to filing for a single type of damage. However, you should consult with your lawyer to determine what would be the most fruitful legal path. 

Compensatory Damages

This category of damages is supposed to compensate for the victim’s pain and suffering. The vast majority of personal injury cases qualify for compensatory damages.

Economic Damages

Also known as special compensatory damages, these are meant to cover expenses that are easy to quantify. While it is great to have a paper trail as supporting evidence for your case in general, it is all the more crucial in this case since it will provide the foundation stone for the amount that might be awarded to you.

Special compensatory damages include but are in no way limited to:

  • Past and future medical expenses
  • Property damage
  • Loss of income and earning capacity
  • Loss of irreplaceable items

Remember that all claims should be backed up by evidence. Therefore keep any bills and documentation connected to your case and add these to your case file. Make sure to have copies of each entry and always have one of them in your possession. 

A Hicksville personal injury lawyer can help you sort through the papers and make sure that only the relevant ones stay in the final draft. They can also help you argue the relevance for some bills that might come into question by the defense. 

Non-Economic Damages

As the name suggests, these are harder to quantify as they are attributed to more subjective aspects. Suffering, for example, is deeply personal and unique. Its magnitude is difficult to assess and convey.

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Non-economic damages or general compensatory damages can cover the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Lower quality of life
  • Loss of companionship
  • Disfigurement and physical impairment
  • Loss of enjoyment of life

Of course, a paper trail can help in this case, as well, to attest the severity of the damage reported. While for some of the points mentioned above a doctor’s evaluation is crucial, for others, you should turn to a trained mental health specialist.

Punitive Damages

There is a clear difference between the two main categories regarding their scope. Unlike compensatory damages, these do not apply to any personal injury case. Punitive damages are reserved for more severe cases, where there is also proof of malintent. These are conceived of to punish the offender. 

Punitive damages can come up in personal injury cases but might be more common in wrongful death cases filed by the survivors from the victim’s side. The main goal of punitive damages is to deter offenders from committing the same harmful acts in the future.

Final Thoughts

Regardless of the damages you wish to pursue it is crucial to reach out to experts. The first thing you should do after an accident is to seek medical help. You should still do this even if you feel fine since some conditions may take a longer time to manifest. 

Trained therapists can help alleviate the emotional burden and heal the psychological scars left by the incident. Looking after your general well-being is just as important as your physical health.

Finally, expert legal counsel can go a long way within a lawsuit. A qualified lawyer can help set the right course for your personal injury case. They will be aware of any rules and regulations to follow and ensure that you have the best chances to receive high compensation.

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