As the plaintiff in a case for personal injury, you are entitled to compensation from the defendant. While every case is different, there are two basic types of damages you might be entitled to. What are they?
Compensatory damages are meant to compensate for losses the plaintiff has undergone. Special compensatory damages are easily quantifiable, while general compensatory damages are not:
- Special Compensatory Damages – Special damages can be easily calculated with some documents and a calculator. They include medical expenses, property damages, lost wages and court-related costs. Simply take your medical bills, repair invoices and other types of bills, total them up, and you’ll have the amount you can seek in special damages.
- General Compensatory Damages – You can’t just grab a few documents and add up the totals to find general compensatory damages. These are subjective and not always immediately apparent. General damages include emotional distress, PTSD, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of the enjoyment of life, humiliation, long-term medical treatment, and other physical and emotional losses suffered.
In a case when the defendant is particularly negligent, punitive damages may be awarded to the plaintiff. Punitive damages aren’t necessarily meant to benefit the plaintiff as much as they are to punish the defendant. When they are awarded, it shows the defendant, as well as anyone else who might consider engaging in the negligent behavior, that it will not be tolerated and the individual will be punished.
Many accidental injuries do not end up with punitive damages, but those that are blatant or malicious often do. This could include domestic abuse, drunk driving, drug distribution and other similar crimes. The defendant might also face a criminal case, but that doesn’t take away from the plaintiff’s right to a civil suit and punitive damages.
What You’re Entitled To
Every personal injury case is unique to the individual who was injured and the circumstances surrounding the accident. Your lawyer will look over the case to determine which damages you should seek. If your injuries are strictly physical and you haven’t suffered any emotional damage, you might not seek as much in general damages, for example.
Getting a Lawyer Involved
When you’re injured by another entity or individual, you are entitled to compensation from the responsible party. Seeking damages could get confusing if you’re unsure about the situation, but your lawyer can help. Contact a personal injury lawyer, like The Law Offices of Konrad Sherinian, LLC to learn more about whether you have a case and to see what needs to be done to get started.