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What Compensation Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

What Are the Different Types of Damages?

What Compensation Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?When you have suffered injury and/or loss in an accident caused by the carelessness or negligence of another person, you have the right to file a lawsuit to recover damages–full and fair compensation all your losses. What does that include? What types of damages are available in a personal injury claim?

The Different Types of Damages

At the highest level, the damages awarded by a jury typically fall into one of two categories: compensatory damages or punitive damages. Compensatory damages are intended to come as closely as possible to returning you to the condition you were in before the accident. They customarily involve payments by the at-fault party to “compensate” you for your losses.

Punitive damages, on the other hand, are intended to “punish” the defendant for wrongful behavior, and to send a message to others who might engage in similar acts.

The Different Types of Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are generally categorized as either economic/monetary damages, or as non-economic/non-monetary damages.

Economic or monetary damages are those that are typically tangible and easy to calculate. They include losses that can be documented, such as lost wages or income, unpaid medical expenses, or the cost of repairing or replacing damaged property.

Non-economic damages, conversely, are those types of losses that are exclusively or primarily non-tangible, and therefore much more difficult to calculate. They include things like:

  • Physical or mental pain and suffering
  • The loss of enjoyment of life—the inability to engage in the simple functions of daily life, or to do things that brought you joy or pleasure before the accident
  • Loss of companionship or consortium—loss of the guidance, company, direction, influence, affection or intimate relationship with family members or others

Economic or monetary damages are usually calculated using wage or income statements, medical bills or invoices/bills for damage repair and replacement. Juries take a number of different approaches when determining non-economic damages:

  • Some courts will instruct jurors to identify a “reasonable” amount of compensation
  • Some courts apply a multiplier (anywhere from 1 to 10), first determining the economic losses and then multiplying that amount by the pre-determined factor

Contact the Law Offices of David J. Karbasian, PC

Send us an e-mail today or call us at 856-667-4666 to schedule an appointment to discuss your personal injury claim. Evening and weekend consultations are available upon request. We can come to your home or the hospital to meet with you, if necessary.

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