Damages in a Personal Injury Case


Depending on the circumstances, when you are injured by someone else’s negligence, you are generally entitled to be paid monetary damages by that person. When it comes to personal injury cases, the first question that usually comes to a person’s mind is how much their case is worth. A variety of factors play a role, but the overall main factor that decides this is damages, or what the personal injury cost you physically, mentally, and monetarily. Most people understand that they are entitled to compensation, but they do not know what type of damages are compensable and what kinds of expenses can be accounted for in a personal injury case. There are multiple types of damages that can be taken into consideration during a personal injury case.

Special Damages

These damages will compensate you for any sort of monetary damages caused by your injury. These vary greatly from case to case, so it is important to talk to an injury attorney about your specific injuries and the costs you have and will incur due to your injuries. Special damages should make the injured person “whole” again when looked at from a simplistic, monetary view. They are calculated by adding up all the financial losses the victim faced because of their injury. These losses must have definitive proof to be taken into consideration. Cases of special damages include, but are not limited to:

  • Medical bills and/or future medical bills
  • Loss of earnings and/or future earnings
  • The cost to make a home handicap accessible

General Damages

General damages focus on any sort of non-monetary damages that are incurred. These apply to almost all injury claims because, as the name states, they are general in what they cover. These can be calculated by placing a monetary value on a subjective injury. Factors that could play into this are how shocking the injury is, the depth of emotional or mental suffering, and how greatly it impacted the victim’s everyday life. It is key to have an experienced injury attorney to make sure you have the best case for your general damages claim. Some examples of general damages are:

  • Pain
  • Mental Distress
  • Continued Suffering
  • Loss of Loved One

General damages are case specific. It is not unreasonable to think that given the chance, a jury, when looking at two people with identical injuries but completely different lifestyles, could award those people dramatically different awards for general damages. For example, consider two injured people, both paralyzed from the waist down due to a car crash. Before the crash, the first individual smoked, lived alone, could go days at a time without talking to anyone else, and generally did little other than sit around the house and watch TV. As to those factors of the person’s life, the crash impacted very little. On the other hand, prior to their injury, the second individual spent a lot of time in activities outside the home with family and friends, played golf once per week, and jogged 5 miles three times per week. When looking at these two scenarios, it is reasonable to expect a jury would grant more compensation for general damages to the second individual. The burden of their injury has a larger impact on how they must adjust their lifestyle moving forward.

Wrongful Death Damages

These damages apply to the surviving family and are intended to help them with the cost of losing their loved one, whether that be emotionally or monetarily. Wrongful death claims can include:

  • Funeral Costs
  • Medical Expenses
  • Loss of Finances

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are given to the injured person when the actions of the defendant are extremely harmful. These damages can range from sexual assault and battery to fraud that caused great monetary harm. They are given in addition to the other damages of the claim. It is often seen as a punishment for the person who caused the injury rather than simply compensation for the injured person. Punitive damages are not allowed in all jurisdictions.

Personal Injury Attorneys

An attorney can help you better deal with the problems arising from an injury, set up the best course of action for your case, and help you receive the just compensation you deserve. Berry Law’s team of experienced personal injury attorneys can help you fight for your due compensation. If you or somebody you know has been damaged due to somebody else’s negligence, contact our team today.

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