What type of compensation is available to a personal injury victim?
There are several categories of compensation (also called damages) that a personal injury victim can expect to recover. There are also a few factors that may reduce the amount of compensation someone can expect, which are described below. Keep in mind though that every case is different. Each case presents with a different person and story. For this reason, no two cases have the same value
Generally speaking, economic and non-economic damages are the two main categories of compensation. These forms of damages are meant to place the injured party back to the condition he or she was in prior to the accident. We will discuss each of them below.
Economic Harms and Losses.
- Past and Future Medical Treatment. Compensation for the cost of medical care associated with the accident. This amounts to a reimbursement for the treatment you’ve already received, and the estimated cost of medical care you’ll need in the future due to the accident.
- Compensation for the accident’s impact on salary and wages. This includes not only the income you’ve lost since the accident, but also the money you will not make in the future after the accident.
- Property Damage. Compensation for property including vehicles, clothing, or other items damaged by the accident, which amounts to reimbursement for repairs or compensation for the fair market value of the property damaged or destroyed.
Non-Economic Harms and Losses.
- Compensation for physical pain or discomfort suffered by a victim following an accident due to the injuries and/or resulting treatment brought on by the accident. This includes compensation for ongoing pain.
- Emotional distress. Compensation for the psychological impact an accident may cause. This includes feelings of anxiety, fear, humiliation, and secondary effects like sleep loss.
- Loss of enjoyment. Compensation for the inability to engage in social events, exercise, hobbies, and similar activities from the accident.
- Loss of consortium. Compensation for the effects the accident has on your relationship with a spouse, including insufficient intimacy.
In rare cases where the responsible party’s actions are unacceptable in a civilized society, an injured person can receive punitive damages. Unlike the above categories of damages, this is not compensation meant to place the injured person to the status he or she was in prior to the accident. Instead, these damages aim to punish the responsible party for committing malice, oppression or fraud to discourage that type of conduct in the future. In that way, punitive damages act as a deterrent.
Factors That Reduce Case Value.
Comparative Negligence. Where an injury victim contributes to the accident, they are partially at fault. That percentage reduces the compensation they receive. If an injured party is 50% at fault, for example, the injured party will only recover half of their personal injury claim.
Failure to Mitigate Damages. An injured party should mitigate (or reduce) the financial impact the accident causes. In other words, an injured person should seek medical treatment and follow their doctor’s recommendation. Failure to do so may lead to worsening injury. The insurance company will argue, and sometimes successfully, that your injuries would not have been as severe had you sought timely medical treatment and followed the doctors’ orders.
In conclusion, JSM Injury Firm APC is ready to help you win a lawsuit against the responsible party and their insurance company. If you have suffered a personal injury, contact JSM Injury Firm APC today for a free consultation.
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