Personal injury is a term used to refer to multiple types of accidents that are caused by someone else’s negligence, carelessness, or malicious thoughts. In addition to physical injuries, a victim of an accident may suffer from emotional distress as well.
A victim who has suffered losses due to someone else’s carelessness can apply for a personal injury claim settlement. The process is tough and requires considerable effort from the victim. The difficulty levels go up, considering the fact that the victim is recovering from an accident. The victim needs a lawyer in such situations.
Hiring a lawyer has tons of benefits in a personal injury case. Proving liability aside, a lawyer will also help determine the amount of compensation the victim can seek. This amount is based on the damages the victim has suffered.
This article highlights the different types of compensation that a victim is eligible for in a personal injury claim. The point of compensation is to offer financial assistance to the victim in an attempt to get their life back on track.
Compensation for personal injury is of two types. They are,
- Economic Damages (also known as special damages)
- General Damages (also known as non-economic damages)
The purpose of economic damages is to compensate the victim for expenses incurred due to their injuries. The expenses that fall under economic damages include:
- Lost Income: The victim may miss work during the recovery period. In such instances, they can document the injuries they’ve suffered, the duration required for the recovery, and the amount they would’ve earned during the recovery period to receive compensation for lost income.
- Medical Bills: The medical expenses that the victim suffers from as a result of the accident fall under this category. Medical expenses are proven using prescriptions, proof of hospital visits, and testimonials from doctors. The victim is also compensated for medication expenses for a health condition that was created due to the accident.
- Property Damages: Compensation to replace or repair property that was damaged due to the defendant’s negligence falls under this category.
- Household Services: This type of damage is applicable if the accident has immobilized the victim. In such instances, the victim may need help carrying out day-to-day tasks. The cost incurred to hire the people who assist the victim falls under this category.
These damages are much harder to compute. Mainly because the suffering and losses related to it are intangible. The types of non-economic damages include,
- Physical Pain and Suffering
- Mental Trauma
- Loss of Companionship
- Reduction in Quality of Life
Proving and calculating non-economic damages can be quite difficult. The victim needs to provide sufficient evidence that shows the accident/injury has caused serious psychological harm that prevents them from living a normal life.
Wrongful Death Damages
Some accidents are so severe that they cause fatalities. Wrongful death damages are applicable when a victim loses their life due to someone else’s negligence or carelessness. The surviving family member(s) of the victim(s) are eligible to apply for a wrongful death claim. The damages covered will include,
- Emotional distress
- Funeral and burial expenses
- Pre-death medical expenses of the decedent
- Loss of income from the decedent
- Loss of consortium
- Loss in the value of services offered by the decedent
Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages are meant as punishment for the defendant. Most states consider punitive damages only for serious crimes like aggravated battery or sexual assault. States like Florida, Texas, and California are exceptions. Punitive damages are paid by the defendant to make a statement that bad behavior will not be tolerated.
There are many layers to a personal injury case. Mastering them all is difficult. But this is possible with the help of an experienced personal injury lawyer. With their assistance, you will have the ammunition you need to successfully claim damages for your injuries.