An injury can sideline a person’s life either temporarily or sometimes for much longer. The aftermath of a catastrophic injury may leave a person’s life extremely different than it was before. If someone else’s negligence causes the damage, they may be on the hook for compensating the injured party. When a person who has been injured goes to court, they want a financial award for their injury. “Damages” is another term for such an award. Familiarize yourself with the types of damages that courts can award if the negligent party is found responsible.
Special Compensatory Damages
Dealing with an injury means having lots of doctor visits. It may also mean having to attend therapy, rehabilitation, or take prescription medication. All of these things may add up to big bills. There is also the matter of not being able to work. If your injury prevents you from ever returning to the same profession, you may have to take a considerable pay cut. How will bills get paid? How will the family recover? If a defendant in a personal injury lawsuit is found responsible, they may be responsible for paying the plaintiff special compensatory damages. These are actual losses due to bills or a loss of income that the court calculates based on information provided. The defendant must reimburse the plaintiff. Special compensatory damages are the most often awarded compensation in a personal injury case.
General damages differ from special compensatory damages because they are not concrete. Things that may qualify a plaintiff for general damages include:
- Pain associated with the injury
- Emotional trauma from the event
- A loss of family relationships
- The suffering from the injury
When the injury has caused the plaintiff to suffer in a way that is not tangible, the court may come up with a way to compensate them for it. Thus, general damages are awarded.
Some defendants may be so negligent and reckless that the damage they inflict is abhorrent. An example of this is someone who drinks alcohol and then gets behind the wheel. Drunk drivers know they should not be traversing the roadways, but they do. When they wind up hitting someone else causing great harm, the court does not look kindly upon them. The defendant may get slapped with punitive damages. This type of financial award usually far exceeds anything the plaintiff has requested. It is meant to be exorbitant and to punish the defendant.
A judge or jury may award a plaintiff any number of damages. Get help figuring out what your claim is worth by visiting a lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer from Johnston Martineau, PLLP, as soon as possible.