When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be wondering what types of compensation you can recover in a personal injury claim. The answer depends on the specific facts and circumstances of your case, but there are four main types of damages that may be available to you: economic damages, non-economic damages, punitive damages, and compensatory damages.
Economic damages are those that have a specific monetary value attached to them, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. These are the most straightforward damages to calculate, as you can simply total up all your economic losses and request that amount from the at-fault party.
Non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify because they don’t have a specific dollar amount attached to them. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of enjoyment of life. To calculate non-economic damages, your attorney will likely use a formula that considers factors like the severity of your injuries, the impact the injuries have had on your life, and the length of your recovery.
Punitive damages are designed to punish the at-fault party for particularly egregious behavior and deter others from engaging in similar conduct in the future. Punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases but may be available if the at-fault party acted with malice or gross negligence.
Compensatory damages are intended to make the injured party “whole” again by putting them in the position they would have been in had they not been injured. Compensatory damages can be either economic or non-economic in nature, or a combination of both. Most personal injury claims will involve compensatory damages.
If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to recover economic damages (such as medical bills and lost wages), non-economic damages (such as pain and suffering), punitive damages (in rare cases), and/or compensatory damages (intended to make you “whole” again). An experienced personal injury attorney can help you understand which types of compensation may be available to you under the law.
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