What Damages Can You Recover In a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

March 9, 2023

What Damages Can You Recover In a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Personal injury lawsuits are civil cases brought by someone who has been harmed by another person’s negligent or intentional actions. These cases seek compensation for the damages suffered by the injured party. It is important to understand the types of damages recoverable in a personal injury lawsuit to ensure that the injured party receives fair compensation for their losses.

  1. Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits. They are intended to compensate the injured party for the losses they have suffered as a result of the defendant’s actions.

Economic damages are quantifiable losses, such as medical expenses and lost wages. These damages are relatively easy to calculate as they involve tangible losses that can be documented with bills, receipts, and other evidence.

Non-economic damages are intangible losses, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. These damages can be more difficult to quantify as they involve subjective experiences that are unique to the injured party.

  1. Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for their actions and to deter similar behavior in the future. Unlike compensatory damages, they are not intended to compensate the injured party for their losses.

Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious, such as in cases of intentional harm or gross negligence. The amount of punitive damages awarded is typically based on the severity of the defendant’s actions and their financial situation.

  1. Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium refers to the loss of companionship, affection, and other intangible benefits of a relationship that are caused by the injured party’s injuries. This type of damage is typically sought by a spouse or other family member of the injured party.

To recover damages for loss of consortium, the injured party must demonstrate that their injuries have had a significant impact on their relationship with their spouse or other family member. The amount of damages awarded is typically based on the extent of the impact on the relationship.

  1. Wrongful Death Damages

Wrongful death lawsuits are brought by the surviving family members of a person who has died as a result of another person’s negligence or intentional actions. Damages in wrongful death cases are intended to compensate the family members for their losses.

Types of damages recoverable in a wrongful death lawsuit may include funeral and burial expenses, medical expenses incurred prior to death, lost income and financial support, and damages for the emotional pain and suffering caused by the loss of a loved one. The specific types of damages recoverable vary by state and by the specific circumstances of the case.

Other Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

The availability and extent of damages that can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit may vary depending on the jurisdiction and specific circumstances of the case. An experienced personal injury attorney can provide guidance on the types of damages that may be recoverable in a particular case.

  • Property Damage: If a personal injury incident also causes damage to the plaintiff’s property, such as their vehicle in a car accident, the plaintiff may be able to recover damages to cover the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Loss of Enjoyment: In some cases, an injury may prevent the plaintiff from participating in activities they previously enjoyed, such as sports or hobbies. The plaintiff may be able to recover damages to compensate for the loss of enjoyment.
  • Disfigurement: If an injury results in permanent scarring or disfigurement, the plaintiff may be able to recover damages for the physical and emotional impact of their altered appearance.
  • Future Damages: In cases where an injury is expected to have long-term or permanent effects, such as a disabling injury or chronic pain, the plaintiff may be able to recover damages to compensate for future medical expenses, lost wages, and other future losses.

Why You Need To Hire an Attorney

An attorney is important for recovering damages in a personal injury lawsuit for several reasons:

  • Legal Expertise: Personal injury law can be complex, and an experienced attorney has the legal expertise and knowledge of the legal system to navigate the legal process and advocate for their client.
  • Evaluation of Claims: A personal injury attorney can evaluate the merits of a claim and determine the types of damages that may be recoverable. They can also estimate the value of the damages and negotiate with insurance companies and other parties to reach a fair settlement.
  • Evidence Collection: An attorney can collect and preserve evidence, including medical records, police reports, and witness statements, to support the injured party’s claim and maximize their recovery.
  • Courtroom Experience: If a settlement cannot be reached, a personal injury attorney has the courtroom experience to take the case to trial and advocate for their client before a judge and jury.
  • Contingency Fee Arrangement: Most personal injury attorneys work on a contingency fee basis, meaning they only receive a payment if they successfully recover damages for their client. This means that injured parties can pursue their claims without incurring upfront costs or financial risk.

Schenk Podolsky Attorneys Mesa, Arizona

An injured party who works with an experienced personal injury attorney has a better chance of receiving fair compensation for their losses.

Give us a call at Schenk Podolsky Attorneys at Law for a free consultation to know more about the damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit.