Fighting to get the compensation you deserve for your injuries can be an overwhelming process. Even when you have an experienced personal injury lawyer relieving some of the stress, you still have to deal with a lot of confusing paperwork, procedures, and legal terms. One of the legal terms that you’ll hear a lot is “damages,” which you’ll come to learn means more than just damage to your property.
So what exactly does “damages” mean in a personal injury case? Below is a breakdown of the kinds of damages that you may be fighting to get compensation for.
Most damages are classified as compensatory damages. Compensatory damages essentially come down to one thing: getting compensation for what the injury cost you – both monetarily and in terms of your suffering. There are several different kinds of compensatory damages.
When you get injured, those injuries may prevent you from working for a while. This will likely cause you to lose income which you deserve to recoup. Not only that, those injuries may prevent you from working in the future or significantly impact the kind of work you’re able to do. For example, someone who gets permanently paralyzed will never be able to work again. When an injury reduces the amount of income you’ll be able to get in the future, you deserve to be compensated for this as well.
An injury caused by someone else’s reckless, negligent, or intentional behavior will likely require medical attention. You may need surgery, recurring physical therapy, or other kinds of treatment. Even a quick visit to the hospital to get patched up is expensive. You deserve compensation for whatever medical bills you incur after getting injured.
Damage to/Loss of Property
If your property gets damaged, you deserve to get compensated for it. This most commonly comes up after a car accident. If your car gets damaged or totaled, you should recoup the money for damages that your insurance doesn’t cover. You also deserve compensation for any personal property in your vehicle that gets damaged. Of course, if your property gets damaged in any other injury accidents, you can fight to get compensated for that property as well.
Pain and Suffering
Here’s where it starts to get tricky. What exactly counts as pain and suffering? It’s often hard to define and prove. If you have evidence of psychiatric visits or proof that you’re on painkillers, it’s a little easier to prove that you’re suffering. However, there are many examples of less quantifiable pain and suffering that you should also be compensated for.
Loss of Enjoyment
When your injuries prevent you from taking part in your favorite hobbies or activities, you are eligible for a loss of enjoyment claim. However, just like pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment may be hard to prove.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is sometimes considered to be just a loss of the ability to maintain a sexual relationship. However, it’s sometimes more broadly defined as a loss of the ability to maintain close relationships. For example, an injury may impact your ability to maintain emotional closeness to your child. When loss of consortium is used in the broader sense, it’s often hard to prove.
You’re only entitled to punitive damages in special cases. Punitive damages are not designed to compensate you for losses, but rather to punish the defendant for their negligence/recklessness and discourage others from engaging in the same behavior. For example, if a manufacturer put a product on the shelves that they knew was defective and you got hurt by it, the courts may punish the manufacturer by making them pay punitive damages.
If you’ve been injured and you want a personal injury lawyer who can help you recover all the damages that apply to your case, contact The Dashner Law Firm. Attorney Geoffrey Dashner has over 20 years of experience helping people get full compensation for their injuries, property damage, and suffering. Contact his firm today to schedule your free consultation.