A personal injury case is when an individual is injured in an accident caused by the at-fault party’s negligence, carelessness, or gross recklessness. Victims who have sustained such injuries can drag the at-fault parties to court.
There are many complications involved when victims attempt to get the maximum compensation for their injuries. There’s the statute of limitations, contributory negligence, the no-fault doctrine, and the one-bite doctrine, to name a few. One or more of these complications may apply, depending on the circumstances of the accident.
This is why you need a personal injury lawyer. Consult a lawyer with expertise in the type of accident that caused your injuries. They will help you in the legal process, standing by your side and supporting you as and when needed.
One instance where a lawyer is of immense help is in determining the category of the damages. In general, there are three types of damages in a personal injury case. They are:
- Economic Damages (Also known as Special Damages).
- Non-Economic Damages (Also known as General Damages).
- Punitive Damages.
We’ll discuss each of them in detail.
These are the most basic types of damages that are applicable to almost all personal injury cases. Economic damages are the monetary losses a victim suffers due to their injuries. The following expenses fall under the category of economic losses:
- Medical Expenses: This includes all the medical expenses incurred by the victim. The victim will have to submit documents like medical bills, proof of hospital visits, and doctor’s statements to support their claim. The medical expenses the victim incurs due to the deterioration of an existing condition will also be considered.
- Lost Income: There are high chances of the victim missing work after an accident. Lost income helps to recover the money the victim would have earned during the recovery period. The victim will have to submit proof of employment, wage slips, and other relevant documents to prove this loss.
- Household Services: After an accident, some victims may need assistance, during or after recovery, to carry out everyday tasks. The costs incurred to hire professional services or make modifications to the victim’s home are included in this type of damage.
- Property Damage: In addition to physical injuries, there are chances that the victims’ property might be damaged as well. Property damage compensates the victim with the sum required to repair or replace the damaged property. The victim will have to submit proof of damage and the relevant receipts of the sum they spent to fix or replace the damaged property to prove this type of damage.
In addition to physical injuries, victims may suffer from emotional trauma and other losses like pain and suffering. Non-economic damages are harder to calculate, and the value that each person receives will vary. The following damages fall under the category of non-economic damages:
- Pain and Suffering: Injuries like fractures and concussions often leave the victim with severe pain that may last for a while. Victims can seek compensation for pain and suffering by submitting documents like
- Medical statements
- Testimonials from specialists like physiotherapists
- Emotional Distress: Physical injuries aside, a victim may suffer from psychological trauma due to the accident, which may affect their day-to-day life. Common psychological conditions a victim can recover from include
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Change in Personality
- Loss of cognitive function
- Impaired memory
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life: Psychological trauma often forces victims into a shell. They may not enjoy or participate in activities that they once loved. Losses like this can be recovered as well.
- Disabilities and Disfigurements: These types of injuries can have a permanent effect on the victim, changing their perspective of life and preventing them from participating in activities. Disabilities and disfigurements account for some of the highest compensation amounts in personal injury claims.
Unlike the other damages mentioned in this article, punitive damages are a means to punish the at-fault party. In most states, punitive damages are awarded for intentional crimes like aggravated battery and sexual assault. Some states reserve punitive damages for personal injury cases involving gross negligence.
Each personal injury case is different. One cannot follow a one-size-fits-all approach to personal injury claims. The types of damages are a good reason why. If you have suffered injuries in an accident, you must consult a personal injury lawyer.
They will make the necessary calculations regarding compensation calculations and will help in proving them. Hiring a lawyer will smoothen the entire personal injury process and help you get the compensation you deserve.
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