personal injury
personal injury

What damages can be sought in a personal injury case?

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Suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence can have a devastating effect on your life. This includes a loss of income, medical bills, and other expenses.

Economic damages compensate a victim for the monetary losses they’ve incurred or will incur. These include a loss of wages, medical expenses, property damage, and future losses such as lost earnings potential.

Economic Damages

Economic damages are monetary awards meant to relieve the victim of financial burdens related to his or her injury. These can include the cost of medical treatment, lost wages, property damage and more. These types of damages can be easily proven with receipts, bills and other documentation. Non-economic damages, however, are more difficult to quantify and can include things like pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. In most cases, a plaintiff can only recover a maximum of two times his or her total economic losses, minus any insurance or worker’s compensation benefits that have been recovered.

Expenses Related to Medical Treatment

Medical expenses are the most common type of economic damage awarded in personal injury cases. These can include the cost of X-rays, casts, physical therapy and pain medications. The amount of money you can be reimbursed for these costs depends on the extent of your injuries and how long they prevent you from working. For example, if your leg was broken in a motorcycle accident and you are unable to drive, your lawyer may be able to demonstrate that you have not been able to work for six weeks, which could lead to a loss of income of up to $2,300.

Lost Wages

If your injury has prevented you from working, the amount of wages and other employment benefits you would have earned during that period can be considered as a portion of your economic damages. This can also include commissions, bonuses and other income that you normally receive in addition to your salary. Some states take into account wage growth when calculating this amount, meaning that the higher the inflation rate, the higher your lost wages could be.

Future Lost Wages

It is possible to claim compensation for the future loss of earnings you will experience due to your injury, although this is more difficult to prove than past losses. This can be calculated based on the expected length of your recovery and what you were likely to earn at your job prior to your accident. This could be a complex calculation, and it is important that your attorney understands all the details of your case so he or she can calculate this amount accurately.

Other Expenses

General damages are not necessarily financial in nature but attempt to put a price on the impact your injuries have had on your quality of life. These can include the cost of hiring someone to do household tasks that you are no longer able to perform, the costs of recreational activities that you have been forced to stop participating in and the diminished enjoyment of your lifestyle.

The key to getting the most out of your personal injury settlement or verdict is meticulous documentation of all your losses. This means keeping every bill, receipt and other item of evidence that supports your claims. It may seem time consuming and frustrating to keep track of all these items, but it can make all the difference when it comes to getting the maximum award.

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