You may be entitled to three different kinds of damages in a personal injury case.
If you have been hurt in an accident, you have likely suffered a variety of losses including medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and pain and suffering. With the help of a skilled personal injury attorney, the responsible party may be required to pay you for your damages.
Every case is unique, and the amount of money that you will recover will depend on the specific facts of your case. But for all personal injury cases, there are three possible categories of damages that you may be entitled to: special damages, general damages, and punitive damages. In most cases, you will recover for general and special damages; punitive damages are only awarded in unusual cases. Read on to learn more about these types of damages, and then contact the Law Office of Larry H. Parker at 800-333-0000 or email@example.com to learn more about how we can help you recover for your injuries and losses.
Special damages are also known as compensatory damages because they are meant to compensate you for your actual losses — that is, anything that you can add up and easily measure. This may include any or all of the following losses:
- Medical Costs: Any and all medical costs associated with treatment for your injuries from the accident are covered by special damages. This may include emergency room bills, rehab and physical therapy, testing, hospitalization, doctor’s bills, medication costs and more. All past and future medical damages are usually counted as special damages.
- Property Damage: If you have experienced loss or damage to your property — such as your car — it will be covered under special expenses. This includes repair or replacement of the property that has been lost or damaged.
- Lost Wages: If you have been unable to work due to the accident, your lost earnings will be considered special damages from the date of the accident until your case has been resolved.
- Lost Future Income: For those who have been seriously injured and are partially or fully disabled as a result of an accident, special damages may include lost future earnings.
Your personal injury attorney will help you analyze the exact amount of special damages that you may be entitled to recover.
General damages are meant to provide compensation for non-economic damages. These losses are harder to prove, as they do not have a specific number value (such as $1,000 for medication or $5,000 in damage to your car). Instead, it will require the assistance of a skilled personal injury attorney who has experience in placing a value on these damages and can make an argument as to why you should receive a certain amount for your losses. General damages may include:
- Pain and Suffering: If you have suffered physical or emotional injuries in an accident, you may be entitled to money to compensate you for your pain and suffering.
- Emotional Distress: Witnessing a serious accident, particularly one that results in a fatal or serious injury to a loved one, can cause significant emotional distress. This type of damages is meant to compensate a victim for their distress.
- Loss of Consortium: This claim is asserted by a spouse who has lost the comfort, affection, and companionship of a partner after an accident.
- Loss of Companionship: Immediate family members may claim this category of damages in a wrongful death lawsuit.
Most personal injury cases involving negligence do not result in punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant and discourage them from acting in a similar way in the future. Instead, punitive (or exemplary) damages are reserved for cases involving particularly bad conduct, including intentional or malicious actions.
To learn more about the types of damages that you may be entitled to for your personal injury case, contact the Law Offices of Larry H. Parker today at 800-333-0000 or firstname.lastname@example.org.