Determining Damage Amounts In A Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you're considering a personal injury lawsuit due to injuries sustained in a car accident, you'll have many questions, especially when it comes to determining how much your case is worth. While each case is different, the answer to the question really comes down to damages: Determining what your injuries cost you mentally, physically and monetarily.

In personal injury cases, money damages are paid to the injured party by the party who is found to be legally responsible for the incident. Awards for damages can either be agreed upon during a settlement negotiation or may be ordered by a jury or judge during a trial. There are a few different types of damages, including:

Compensatory Damages

Most personal injuries are classified as compensatory because they are meant to compensate the injured person his losses due to the injury. Compensatory damages are meant to make the injured party "whole" again, at least from a financial standpoint. This means a dollar amount is applied to all the consequences of the accident. Some compensatory damages are easy to determine, such as medical bills and property damage reimbursement. Compensatory damages include lost income, medical treatment, pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment, loss of consortium, and emotional distress.

Punitive Damages

In situations where the negligent person's conduct is deemed careless or egregious, an injured plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages in addition to the compensatory damages. Punitive damages come from a rationale that is different from the justification attached to compensatory damages. Punitive damages are essentially punishing the defendant for his conduct, to hit them in the pocket. This helps act as a deterrent for others to not act that way in the future.

Plaintiff's Actions and Inactions

If you're at fault, even slightly, the computation may reflect that. This is called contributory negligence, and it's possible your award will be reduced by any percentage you're determined to be at fault.

If you've been injured in any type of accident and would like more information on suing for damages, contact us.