Money paid to make up for a loss is known as compensation. To compensate for harms means to make up for those harms.
Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Claims
Compensatory damages are one of several categories of damages that may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit or agreed to in a personal injury settlement. The aim of compensatory damages, to the degree possible, is to make a person “whole again,” or to restore him or her to the position he or she was in before the injury or accident.
While monetary compensation is a poor substitute for health and actually making someone whole again, it is form of justice dispensed in The Bible upon which our tort system is based. Such a remedy is simply among the few methods available in the law to attempt to alleviate the consequences of a wrongful act.
Special Damages are Economic Losses
Special damages are present and future financial losses causes by injury. The amount has a dollar value which can be calculated based on the evidence.
- Medical expenses: A plaintiff must show that bills and expenses for medical treatment are related to injuries received or medical conditions developed as a result of the negligent behavior in question.
- Future medical expenses: This type of recovery is allowed if the plaintiff can prove that continued medical care as a result of the injury or accident is needed. Expert opinion, such as the treating physician, will need to provide a medical opinion that will allow the jury to make an approximate estimate of the costs.
- Lost wages: Compensation for the amount of money the plaintiff would have earned from the time of the injury to when the judgment or settlement was reached.
- Loss of earning capacity: The plaintiff must show that his or her ability to earn money in the future has been curtailed by the injuries. While past earnings are considered in determining an appropriate amount of compensation, the focus is on what the plaintiff may have earned had it not been for the injury or trauma. Other factors used in determining an appropriate amount include the plaintiff’s talents, experience, skill, occupation, training, age, health, and life expectancy.
- Loss of value of household services: The personal injury victim may have been contributing varied non-paid services to the family. The loss of household work that was done by the decedent can be assigned a value by uncovering specific services through a questionnaire and interviews with family members. In other cases, someone may have been hired to perform needed household work while the plaintiff was recuperating from their injury. The cost of these services, provided that it can be shown that they would not have been incurred had the plaintiff not been injured, is sometimes included under medical expenses.
General Damages are Non-Economic Harms and Losses
In personal injury claims, the category of money damages meant to make up up for non-financial losses are known are general damages. There is no specific dollar value, and instead, the jury in a civil trial or in negotiations toward settlement with the insurance company, the injury lawyer seeks to persuade on the depth of loss and a dollar figure which represents that level of harm.
- Pain and suffering: When determining a monetary value to be awarded for past and future physical pain suffered as a consequence of the injury or accident, a jury may consider the length and severity of the pain the plaintiff is likely to continue suffering.
- Disfigurement: If an injury or accident leaves scars or other personal effects on personal appearance such as a deformity or disfigurement, the plaintiff may collect damages for the mental suffering that arises out of his or her awareness of such. Disfigurement may sometimes be included as an element of another type of damage, such as mental anguish.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: A general damage for a diminished ability to enjoy the everyday pleasures of life. Loss of enjoyment of life is considered as a form of pain and suffering.
- Loss of consortium: The injured and non-injured spouse may make a claim for deprivation of the benefits of married life caused by the injury in question. The couple’s individual life expectancies, the amount of care and companionship bestowed upon the spouse, whether the marriage was stable, and the extent to which these benefits have been lost may be considered in determining the amount of compensation. The benefits of married considered may include affection, comfort, solace, companionship, assistance, society, and sexual relations.
- Loss of consortium of a child: Damages may be recovered by parents whose child’s injuries are severe enough to have significantly affected the parents’ relationship with their child.
- Mental anguish: Emotional distress, trauma or mental suffering the plaintiff experiences as a result of the injury or accident in question, including fright, apprehension, terror, nervousness, worry, anxiety, humiliation, sense of lost dignity, mortification, embarrassment, shock, and grief. This damage is generally covered under pain and suffering.
Pursuing Maximum Compensation for Personal Injury
Fort Myers personal injury lawyer David Harris pursues maximum compensation for injuries caused by negligence, reckless conduct, and wrongdoing for which there is a remedy in the civil justice system. At Harris Law, every client is valued, staying involved in his or her claim from beginning to conclusion. Your opinions are sought, your questions are answered, and your phone calls are taken or promptly returned by your lawyer.
Whether your injury was caused by a car accident, dangerous premises, construction accident, defective product, child sexual abuse, or injury on the job, among others, then contact David, an experienced, driven, and determined personal injury attorney, to discuss the claim for free.