Civil lawsuit plaintiffs typically receive two types of damages; punitive damages that punish a defendant’s wrongdoing or compensatory damages that seek to make a victim “whole” again after an accident. Every state has different laws concerning punitive damages, their limits and the types of damages available in particular civil claims. However, compensatory damages are generally the same for any civil lawsuit depending on the effects of defendant’s negligence.
Damages which losses can be directly quantified are referred to as “special damages”, as opposed to “general damages” which are not directly quantifiable in monetary losses. Special damages are assessed using values like lost income, the value of damaged property, medical expenses and more.
Hospitalization and emergency medical treatment may result from serious physical injuries. A plaintiff in a civil lawsuit can claim compensation for any and all medical expenses resulting from a defendant’s negligence. These can include hospital bills, prescription medication costs, rehabilitation costs, physical therapy, occupational therapy or counseling.
Many injuries can require missing work for several days during recovery. If a plaintiff can’t claim worker’s compensation, they may need to use sick days, vacation days or accrued time off during their healing. Plaintiffs can sue for wages and benefits lost during recovery from an injury caused by a negligent defendant. In the event that injuries prevent a plaintiff from working in the future, a plaintiff can sue for lost future earnings.
If damage to personal property is caused by a defendant’s negligence, the plaintiff can sue for the costs of repairing or replacing those items. For example – since car accidents are one of the leading causes of personal injury lawsuits, a plaintiff in a car accident case can secure compensation that covers vehicle repairs.
Pain and Suffering
It may sound difficult to quantify “pain and suffering” and a jury will typical consider many factors in awarding those types of damages. Generally, the amount received reflects medical expenses and future prognosis. For example, a broken leg could require surgery, require extensive rehabilitation and interfere with a plaintiff’s ability to perform his or her job. In this case, one could expect a reasonably large amount of compensation for such a claim. However, in the case of a severed leg, the physical and emotional pain from such a catastrophic injury would likely result in a more significant claim for pain and suffering.
Each and every personal injury case is different and will have different types of compensation. Our experienced personal injury attorneys at Weinstein & Cohen will put your priorities first. If you or someone you care about has been injured or involved in an accident due the negligence of others, contact the personal injury lawyers at Weinstein & Cohen at 239-793-3331 or 305-374-1011, or visit fairnessforall, for an absolutely free and confidential legal consultation to learn more about your options.