After an accident, if can be tempting to do anything you can to make up for the pain and suffering you’ve gone through. This is why damages in a personal injury case exist: because the law knows that your losses often go far beyond the dollar value of medical care. The goal when awarding damages in these cases is to “make the plaintiff whole,” or restore you as fully to where you would have been, had the injury not happened.
Medical bills are the most straightforward damage awarded. They can be very expensive, but if everything is well-documented, they are fairly easy to prove. Secondly, and almost equally straightforward, are the lost wages you have missed out on while injured. This can be complicated by any permanent effects of an injury and whether future payments are necessary.
A third type of damage that juries can award is “Pain and Suffering” damages, and these are often large as juries attempt to put a value on pain and suffering. Emotional distress is a fourth type of damage that consider the accident’s emotional ramifications, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and how that will affect your future.
If a loved one has died, you can seek damages for wrongful death or loss of companionship, depending on the circumstances. Finally, if your case doesn’t fall into any of these categories, some states and cases allow punitive damages, which are an “offensive” type of damage: rather than seeking to make things up to the plaintiff, they seek to punish the defendant by providing a deterrent for whatever sort of behavior caused the accident.Posted May 6th, 2016