If you’re considering filing a personal injury claim for a car crash, slip and fall or any other type of accident, you may be wondering what your case is worth. Figuring out the extent of “damages” entailed in your accident is calculated monetarily, physically, mentally, and in some cases- whether the defendant’s conduct is punishable. In a personal injury case, damages are paid to the injured person by the person or company that is legally responsible for the accident. An award can be agreed upon settlement or following a court trial. Here is an explanation of the different damages that are common to personal injury cases:
Compensatory Damages: Most cases come down to compensation which means the plaintiff is compensated for his loss due to the accident or injury. This can range from a number of expenses including medical treatment, property loss, income, pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment, and loss of consortium.
- Medical treatment: Medical treatment includes the cost of medical care associated with the accident. This covers reimbursements for treatments you have already received or the cost of medical care you are estimated to receive in the future.
- Income: You are possibly entitled to income compensation if the accident has affected your income. This includes income already lost and future income you would have been able to earn if not for your accident
- Property Loss: Any of your property that was damaged as a result of your accident, including your car and house is likely to be compensated or reimbursed for repairs
- Pain and Suffering: If you are experiencing serious pain or discomfort either immediately after the accident or any ongoing pain because of the accident, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Emotional Distress: Linked to more serious accidents, emotional distress can range from anxiety, fear, sleep deprivation, etc. Usually, your emotional distress claim will be part of your pain and suffering.
- Loss of Enjoyment and Loss of Consortium: Some states also include loss of enjoyment of day to day activities such as exercise or hobbies to be compensatory. Loss of Consortium, or loss of companionship can be included ranging from relationships with spouses, to children and parents.
Punitive Damages: In cases where a defendant’s conduct is outrageously negligent, careless or malicious, a plaintiff may be entitled to punitive damages on top of compensatory damages. These are intended to deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct that is the basis for the lawsuit. Typically punitive damages cannot be more than 4 times the total of the compensatory damages. In some cases, a plaintiff’s role in the accident is crucial to the outcome of a case. If you are considering filing a personal injury suit in regards to a car accident, a slip and fall, or a pedestrian accident but don’t know if you are entitled to any damages, call Kamper, Estrada, & Simmons, LLP and let us work for you to give you the restitution you deserve!