Damages are defined as financial compensation you receive after a personal injury lawsuit is successful. The intent of these damages is to help heal the plaintiff after an injury. Depending on the situation, the plaintiff receives a dollar amount to help ease the suffering and financial loss the personal injury caused. There are a few damage types that a person may receive which depend on the circumstances of injury, the type of case, and the laws of the state.
- Punitive Damages – When allowed, they are paid to the plaintiff to deter the defendant from engaging in this sort of behavior again. These damages are not intended to “make the plaintiff whole;” instead they are more of a punishment for the defendant.
- Wrongful Death – Family members bring this case up when their loved one has been the victim of an accident or injury as a result of an intentional act or negligence. A typical plaintiff would be a widowed spouse or the parent of a deceased minor child.
- Pain and Suffering – When the plaintiff has suffered from significant injuries, pain and suffering damages are awarded by the relevant insurance companies. The insurance companies determine a fair price by using a standard pain multiplier which includes financial losses times the number determined by the insurance company.
- Compensation for Medical Bills – In the case where the victim has medical bills such as those from the doctor, physical therapy, or hospital stays, the defendant is made to pay the costs of the bills. Sometimes the plaintiff must reimburse the insurance company for parts the company has already paid.
- Loss of Companionship – When the victim is a family member and a loved one has been affected in a significant way, compensation may be awarded to the surviving family member.
- Emotional Distress – If the plaintiff is the victim of a horrific accident, they may seek damages for emotional stress caused by the accident.
- Lost Wages – If the plaintiff cannot work because of an injury, they may seek damages for the wages lost because of the personal injury. If the plaintiff cannot work ever again, the defendant may be required to pay for a lifetime of lost wages.
Non-Economic vs. Economic Damages
Non-economic damages are types of damages that do not have a specific financial cost. Examples are the harm caused by emotional distress or pain and suffering. It is hard to put a monetary value on these types of losses so they are considered non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those which have specific, quantifiable costs, such as hospital bills or lost wages.
The People’s Lawyer, Bruce Hagen
If you have suffered a personal injury and believe you may be entitled to damages, Bruce Hagen, The People’s Lawyer, can help. Personal injury cases are the main cases we handle, so you can be sure we are experts in our field. Give us a call today to schedule a consultation and get started on reclaiming your life.