After sustaining serious injuries in an accident caused by negligence, you may be curious about your legal options for compensation. If you or a loved one is interested in pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, it is important to understand what types of damages you may be able to recover under the law.
There are various three main types of compensation that can be recovered after an injury: general damages, special damages, and punitive damages. In this article, we’ll explain all three and how a lawyer can help after a serious personal injury incident.
Special damages, also known as “economic damages”, are a type of damages that are mostly straightforward to calculate. Special damages are easier to prove as there is often proof of loss. Examples of special damages can include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Prescription medications
- Medical devices
- Loss of future earnings
- The cost of repairing property damage
- The cost of replacing damaged property
While it may be difficult to calculate the loss of future earning and future medical expenses, working with a lawyer can help. According to legal professionals at Manchin Ferretti Injury Law, “There is no way to definitively prove exact costs because these expenses have not happened yet,” they add, “both future expected medical bills and future lost earnings will need to be estimated and may require assistance from medical and economic expert witnesses.”
Also known as “non-economic damages”, general damages are another type of recoverable compensation in a personal injury lawsuit. General damages refer to physical and emotional pain and suffering a personal injury victim may have suffered and are difficult to calculate as every injury is unique. Common types of general damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Physical disfigurement
- Physical impairment
- Loss of companionship
- Lowered quality of life
- Loss of consortium
More serious personal injuries usually result in higher amounts of recoverable general damages. For example, a car accident victim that sustained full body paralysis will most likely have significantly higher recoverable damages when compared to a victim of a dog bite.
While rarely awarded, punitive damages are another type of recoverable damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Punitive damages, also called “exemplary damages”, are damages awarded to the victim in order to punish the negligent part for reckless or willful misconduct. Examples of cases where punitive damages may be awarded could be:
- An accident caused by a drunk driver or a driver under the influence of drugs
- An accident caused by a driver who was texting
- Medical malpractice incidents
How a Lawyer Can Help Recover Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Navigating a personal injury lawsuit, especially after sustaining serious injuries, can be overwhelming. After a personal injury, focus on healing. Consider hiring an experienced personal injury attorney in your area to help with all aspects related to your claim.
An injury attorney can not only be your advocate through the legal process, but can also help maximize your injury claim by hiring professional experts, witnesses, and accident reconstructionists. Start your journey to recovering damages today by scheduling a free consultation with a lawyer in your area.