What Are Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

Whether you have saved money or not, something unexpected such as an injury can set you back. Depending on the severity of the damage to your body, you may find yourself facing months, maybe even years, of medical appointments and treatment.

If the incident that caused the injuries was someone else’s fault, you might have the right to file a personal injury action. This civil lawsuit is a way you may recover financial compensation from a person and their insurance carrier. Hearing the word damages in a personal injury case may be confusing. Discover the type of damages available for recovery in a civil lawsuit such as this.

Damages Are Financial Awards

First things first: What are damages in a personal injury case? 

Damages are financial awards that a judge or jury can award if your case is proven. Not every financial recovery is equal, however. There are different categories into which financial awards may fall in a civil case.

Special Compensatory Damages

The broadest financial award falls into the special compensatory damages category. For example, if you suffered a financial loss that can be shown with receipts or other documentation, the judge might award that the defendant repays those. Medical bills, including treatment costs, fall into this category, as do lost wages and future lost earnings. Any financial loss you can prove lands in the special compensatory damages category.

General Compensatory Damages

Your injury may have taken more than money from you. You may have endured pain, suffering and emotional distress because of the incident. General compensatory damages are meant to help ease the intangible losses you have dealt with since the injury. 

The strain on family relationships may also be claimed in this type of financial award. Therefore, the judge does not award general compensatory damages without finding the defendant liable and awarding special compensatory damages first.

Punitive Damages

Some acts of negligence rise to an extreme level. The disregard for the welfare of others may have been so extreme that the judge wants to send a message to the defendant. 

Since a civil lawsuit cannot give jail time or criminal punishment, punitive damages are meant to hit the defendant hard in the bank account. These awards are totally up to the judge and are usually extremely high. They are also not normally awarded.

If your injury has turned your life upside down, you may want to speak to a personal injury lawyer from the law office of MartinWren, P.C. to have your questions and concerns about your personal injury case addressed by a professional. Getting the financial support you and your family need may require someone who is used to chasing after negligent parties in court.