If you have been injured in an accident through no fault of your own, you may be feeling frustrated by the medical expenses you have had to deal with, the income you have lost by being unable to return to work, and by other property losses you may have experienced. If so, a personal injury lawyer
can help you navigate the complicated legal waters of personal injury cases and help you file a claim to fight for the compensation you deserve.
When this happens, you may be wondering what types of damages might be available to you. Let’s see what they are.
Economic damages cover the financial losses you may have incurred due to the accident. They may include expenses you have had to cover out-of-pocket and bills you may have received from healthcare providers. You may receive bills from hospitals, physical therapists, medical supplies, medical equipment, and others.
Any income you have lost since the accident also falls in the category of economic damages. This may include your salary, any self-employment earnings, benefits, commissions, and bonuses. If you become permanently disabled, economic damages may also include compensation for future loss of income.
As far as property damage, you may include the cost to repair your vehicle if it was damaged in an accident or your cell phone or computer if they were damaged during the crash.
Other expenses may also be included as economic damages and they may include the cost of in-home healthcare, travel expenses to and from appointments, or modifications to your home due to a permanent disability.
Non-economic damages are harder to quantify and they usually do not come with a bill. These may include pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, loss of quality of life, emotional distress, anxiety, depression
, scarring, disfigurement, PTSD, and others.
Although there is no precise monetary value attached to the above items, they do cause an impact on the lives of those who suffer from them. An experienced personal injury attorney will help you put a fair value on any non-economic damages you may want to claim.
It is important to keep a journal detailing the hardships you have been experiencing and anything you may have done to get help recovering from them.
Despite what you might have seen on TV or in movies, punitive damages are not generally awarded. The court will usually award them in an attempt to “punish” the party who caused your injuries and to deter them from engaging in similar actions in the future.
In some cases, punitive damages are also awarded when the court wants to set an example for a particularly contemptible type of behavior so that others will be dissuaded from behaving the same way.
Cases that may call for punitive damages may include nursing home abuse, injuries caused by assault, or accidents that are the result of impaired drivers.
The value of your claim will be impacted by the severity of your injuries and your total financial damages.