When you are injured as a result of another party’s negligence, you deserve to be fairly compensated for all of your injuries. In many situations, the parties involved can negotiate a fair settlement without going to court. If an acceptable settlement cannot be reached, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit. Several different types of compensation are potentially available in a successful outcome. The amount you receive will depend on the severity and nature of your injuries as well as other circumstances surrounding the incident.
Monetary Compensatory Damages
You should never have to worry about who will pay your hospital bills or make up for missed wages when you are injured due to someone else’s negligence. Monetary damages seek to compensate victims for quantifiable expenses they incurred as a result of their injuries. It is important to thoroughly track the direct expenses you have accumulated thus far and accurately estimate anticipated expenses going forward.
Monetary compensatory damages can compensate claimants for:
- Medical Bills. You can potentially secure compensation for all past, ongoing, and future medical expenses associated with your injuries. This includes rehabilitative care and reconstructive treatments if you were disfigured.
- Property Damage. Car accidents, truck accidents, and motorcycle accidents can all cause serious damages to your vehicle in addition to bodily injuries. You can recover damages for expenses associated with the repair or replacement of your vehicle or any type of damaged personal property.
- Missed or Lost Wages. You are likely to miss work when you are seriously injured and need to focus on recovery. You can recover damages for wages you would have earned had you not been injured. You can also cover compensation for permanent reductions in earning capacity if you are unable to return to work due to the severity of your injuries.
- Disability Expenses. If an accident causes a permanent disability, you can recover compensation for equipment or home renovations they need to continue living your life.
- Funeral and Burial Expenses. In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, you can recover compensation for funeral and burial costs.
Non-Monetary Compensatory Damages
Some losses resulting from an accident will be incalculable, and non-monetary damages are meant to compensate victims for injuries that cannot be easily quantified. The amount of a non-monetary damage award is often up to the discretion of the juries and judge involved in the case.
Non-monetary compensatory damages can compensate claimants for:
- Physical and Emotional Pain and Suffering. Many victims experience extensive physical pain and emotional anguish in the aftermath of a serious accident. When you sustain permanent and devastating injuries, you may also suffer significant reductions in your quality of life. You can potentially secure significant compensation for these physical and emotional burdens.
- Disfigurement. If you have been scarred or disfigured as a result of an accident, you can often obtain additional compensation beyond those associated with direct medical expenses, especially if the cosmetic injuries have damaged your mental health.
- Loss of Consortium. Serious injuries can irreversibly change someone’s life and cause significant harm to their personal relationships, including their marriage. Claimants and their loved ones can sometimes procure compensation when relationships have deteriorated as a direct result of an injury-causing accident.
Unlike monetary and non-monetary compensatory damages, punitive damages are not designed to cover tangible or intangible losses sustained by victims. Punitive damages are meant to punish a negligent party for especially egregious misconduct. While punitive awards do ultimately benefit claimants, they are meant to disincentivize other people from behaving in a similarly reckless manner. Punitive damages are rare but will sometimes be awarded in cases involving drivers operating vehicles while under the influence.