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Recovering Damages After a Personal Injury

What Types of Losses Can You Sue For?

Recovering Damages After a Personal InjuryA personal injury suffered in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence can change your life in an instant. You may be unable to work and pay your bills. You may need extensive medical treatment, and some of it might not be covered by insurance. You may be forced to stop doing many of the things you loved to do before the accident simply because the pain is too much. After an accident, what losses can you reasonably expect the at-fault party to pay?

The Two Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

At the most fundamental level, the damages (compensation for losses) available for personal injuries fall into two categories:

  • Compensatory damages—Those damages intended to reimburse or compensate you for an actual loss.
  • Punitive damages—Damages designed to penalize the wrongdoer, generally available only upon a showing of gross negligence or reckless indifference to the value of life. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury lawsuits.

The Different Types of Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are further identified as either economic or non-economic. Economic damages are those that are tangible and easily calculated in dollars and cents. They include lost wages and income, as well as any medical expenses not covered by insurance.

Non-economic damages, on the other hand, involve non-tangible losses that don’t have a readily discernible monetary value. They include:

  • Compensation for pain and suffering
  • Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life—These damages include the loss of the ability to do things that brought you joy or fulfillment before the accident or to engage in the simple activities of daily life, such as walking, sitting, dressing yourself, feeding yourself, driving a car, etc.
  • Compensation for loss of consortium or companionship—These damages are available when your injuries prevent intimate contact with a spouse or the physical company of others.

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

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