An accident is one of those life events that has the ability to completely topple a victim’s life. The victim will suddenly be forced to experience a host of difficulties. There are also those who lost their lives due to the accident. Their loved ones and community will have to deal with an irreplaceable loss.
But there is hope. An experienced personal injury lawyer from Steven A. Bagen & Associates, P.A or other reputable law firms will provide the assistance required to recover compensation for all the losses victims have suffered.
But it is important for victims to know what damages can be recovered. This article helps with that. It discusses some of the common types of damages a victim can expect in a successful personal injury claim.
Damages in a Personal Injury Claim
Damages refer to all the injuries and losses a victim sustains due to the negligence of others. According to personal injury law, damages are of two types.
- Compensatory Damages
- Punitive Damages
We’ll discuss what each type of damage compensates for in the sections below.
A major chunk of the recoverable damages fall under this category. These damages are meant to compensate for the financial losses the victim sustains. The damages that are recoverable under compensatory damages include:
1. Medical Expenses
Medical expenses are applicable to just about all personal injury claims. Under medical expenses, victims can claim compensation for all types of injuries, from minor cuts and bruises to more serious conditions like fractures and traumatic brain injuries (TBIs).
Medical expenses include:
- Hospital visits
- Assistive services like crutches and wheelchairs
Victims can recover compensation for future medical expenses as well.
2. Lost Wages
Victims are often forced to miss work to tend to their injuries. This affects them financially, as the bills for medical expenses might already be piling up.
Lost wages help recover the amount of money the victim would have earned if they weren’t injured. The influence the injuries have on the victim’s work-related responsibilities even after recovery can be compensated via lost wages.
3. Property Damage
These are more common in motor vehicle accidents. The sum required to replace or repair damaged or destroyed property can be compensated under property damage. Property here refers to anything that was damaged, from motor vehicles to smartphones to buildings or furniture.
4. Wrongful Death Damages
Some of the more severe accidents result in fatalities. The loved ones (often called survivors) can seek compensation for all the financial aid they would’ve received if the victim was alive. Common recoverable damages include:
- Funeral expenses
- Medical bills
- Loss of the victim’s lifetime income
- Loss of services provided by the victim
- Loss of inheritance
- Loss of companionship
5. Pain and Suffering
Some injuries have a lasting impact on the victim. Even after recovery, the pain lingers, affecting the victim’s day-to-day activities. The sum spent on physiotherapists and other specialists in treating the condition can be recovered through pain and suffering.
6. Emotional Distress
The emotional effects of accidents are seldom talked about. The emotional consequences of accidents generally include:
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
These are harder to prove. The assistance of an experienced personal injury lawyer is essential in proving emotional distress.
7. Disabilities and Disfigurement
These are some of the more extreme side effects of an accident. They are prevalent in accidents involving fires, toxic exposure, and other similar ones.
Disabilities and disfigurement have a massive impact on the victim’s life. Withdrawal from social activities and self-esteem issues are some of the psychological effects of disabilities and disfigurement.
These damages are awarded when the at-fault party exhibits a higher level of negligence, namely, gross negligence. Also known as recklessness, gross negligence is when the at-fault party shows complete disregard for the safety of others around them.
Punitive damages are awarded to punish the victim and set an example that recklessness will not be tolerated. Punitive damages are only awarded in court.
A personal injury case is wrought with complications. The odds of lower compensation increase considerably when you take on a personal injury case without a lawyer.
Additionally, a lawyer will also assist in determining liability and helping prove that you suffered actual losses.