Filing a personal injury lawsuit after a slip and fall or car accident is stressful. Without an injury lawyer, it is difficult to assess injuries and damages.
When a personal injury case is filed, the company or person found legally responsible pay damages to the injured. The plaintiff is usually paid by the defendant himself or his insurance company. Insurers often value an injury claim, but the actual settlement is agreed upon by the two parties with their attorneys and insurance companies. A damages award may also be through a judge or jury, but this is rare. Contacting a personal injury law firm early on will make things easier for you.
Below are categories you need to know about damages and personal injury cases.
Personal injury damages categorized as compensatory:
From the name itself, these are meant to compensate for what the injured has lost in the accident. They put a dollar value on the consequences of the injury. They could be simple reimbursement for medical bills or accident-related injuries that are more difficult to quantify.
- Medical treatment: Your personal injury damages award often includes medical costs, which refers to actual medical expenses and estimated costs for future treatment. Competent personal injury attorneys can help you get the most out of this.
- Pain and suffering: Through your personal injury case, you may be compensated for pain and suffering, such as severe discomfort you experienced during or even in the aftermath of the accident.
- Emotional distress: Related to pain and suffering damages, this is for accidents that left a psychological impact on you as the personal injury plaintiff. Such may include anxiety, fear, or sleep loss. A personal injury attorney can explain this to you in more detail.
- Loss of consortium. This refers to the effect of the injury case on your relationship with your spouse, including sexual or companionship aspects. Consortium damages are sometimes awarded to the family member and not the injured plaintiff.
- Loss of enjoyment: Injury law covers damages for accidents that prevent you from doing and enjoying pursuits such as exercise, hobbies, or certain recreational activities.
- Income: Compensatory damages include not only salary and wages already lost, but also what you would have made had the accident not happened. This is referred to as compensation for “loss of earning capacity” in personal injury legalese.
- Property: You can be reimbursed for the repair of clothing, vehicles, or other damaged items. With the help of a personal injury lawyer, lost property can also be compensated at its fair market value.
Personal injury damages categorized as punitive:
On top of compensation damages, punitive damages may be awarded when the conduct of the defendant is deemed outrageously careless or egregious. A personal injury law firm can help explain to you the difference between the two. Although the injured plaintiff receives the award, these damages act as a punishment to the defendant and aim to serve as deterrent.
Personal injury damages vis-a-vis the plaintiff’s actions
In certain injury cases, your role in the accident or your inaction can affect the damages available.
- Comparative negligence: The damage award will reflect if you are at fault for the accident, even if only partially. A trusted injury firm can explain the link between the degree of fault and the damages. Although rare, there are also personal injury lawsuits where contributory negligence widely affects the compensation you will recover.
- Mitigation of damages: Reasonable steps must be taken to mitigate impacts related to the accident. The losses may be significantly reduced if, for example, you failed to get the treatment leading to worse injuries.
There are several KY personal injury attorneys, but you have to make sure you get the right one. Get in touch with our injury attorney at Farmer & Wright so we can help you in your case. Call us now for a free initial consultation.