Understanding Damages in a Injury Case
One of the first questions I receive from clients is: “What is my case worth?” Understand, there is no set calculation to answer this question. Quite frankly, case values vastly vary and are dependent on many things. That is why you need a skilled, experienced attorney to handle your case. There are, however, set damages that can be recovered. Legally speaking, damages are the monetary compensation you may be awarded if your case is successful. These damages include:
Understanding Special Damages
SPECIAL DAMAGES – Special damages are those damages that can you put a quantifiable dollar amount to. They can be established with many things, including receipts, medical records, invoices, reports, and photographs. Special damages consist of:
- Lost Wages
- Medical Expenses
- Out-of-Pocket Expenses
- Travel Expenses
- Diminished Earning Capacity
- Funeral Costs
- Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation
- Household Assistance
- Property Damage
Understanding General Damages
GENERAL DAMAGES – These are damages that do not have an exact amount associated with them. General damages include:
- Emotional and Mental Anguish
- Pain and Suffering
- Loss of Enjoyment of Life
- Loss of Consortium (In wrongful death cases)
Some of the factors to consider when evaluating the potential value of general damages are age, occupation, income, and the severity and permanency of the injuries. An experienced attorney can reinforce and demonstrate the importance of general damages by compiling supporting documentation and evidence to present to the insurance company or defense attorney. They also have connections to skilled professionals such as doctors, life-care planners, experts, vocational rehabilitation specialists, and accident reconstructionists to assist with compiling and presenting evidence to establish the damages of your case. This includes future damages you may incur or future medical treatment and procedures necessary due to the injuries you suffered.
There is another type of damage you can recover for when gross negligence has occurred and are awarded to punish the defendant for their abhorrent behavior and to deter others from the same or similar conduct in the future. They may also be cited as a public example. This type of damage is called punitive damage. Punitive damages are awarded above and beyond special and general damages.
Our team of professionals is here for you. We have the connections, experience, and knowledge to help obtain a just recovery for you and outline all of the damages you have suffered.