What Type of Damages Can a Plaintiff Claim in a Personal Injury Case?
Most people are aware that successful personal injury lawsuits result in a “damages” payment awarded to the injured plaintiff by the party involved with the injuring. Monetary payments in personal injury lawsuits are basically classified into two: compensatory and punitive damages. Compensation is the most common type of damage payments successful lawsuits win. Occasionally, however, punitive damages are also awarded by courts, especially if the defendant party has been knowingly careless, leading to the injury.
Usually, the first thing clients in personal injury lawsuits want to know is how much their case can be worth, say attorneys at Tait & Hall, one of the best known personal injury law firms in Arizona. There are actually several types of damages a personal injury lawsuit can claim. It depends on the nature of the injury, such as whether the injury is monetary, physical, emotional, or other in nature. Damages are either negotiated by the two parties or decided by a judge or a jury after a trial case. Read below for a quick understanding of the most common types of damages an injured person can demand in a personal injury lawsuit:
Medical Treatment Fees
Compensatory damages for medical treatment is one of the most common types of damages claimed in personal injury lawsuits. If the defendant is found legally to have caused a physical injury to the plaintiff, then the medical costs can be negotiated as damages. The defendant can agree to reimburse the plaintiff for any hospital or pharmaceutical bills incurred as a result of the injury. While physical injuries are easy enough to put a number on, certain other types of injuries, especially physiological, cannot be easily calculated in monetary compensation terms.
Income or Lost Wages
If the injury in some manner has hindered the plaintiff’s employment, leading to loss of wages or salaries, then the plaintiff can demand that the defendant cover those lost wages. This is calculated in not just money lost at the moment of the injury, but also in terms of long-term consequences of the injury. For example, if an accident left a person injured and confined to a wheelchair unable to work, then this person can demand compensation for income lost in the future as a result of the injury. Lawyers call this compensation for the "loss of earning capacity."
It’s easy enough to understand. If the injury was caused to the plaintiff’s property, such as slamming a car into the garage door, then the plaintiff can claim property loss damages.
Compensation for Pain and Suffering
It’s hard to quantify damages in terms of emotions of the injured party. Nevertheless, compensation for pain and suffering is one of the most common types of damages sought in personal injury cases. It’s also the trickiest to calculate. Pain and suffering are not easy to identify as, say, property loss damages. But experienced attorneys can negotiate terms of compensations for any type of pain or suffering caused because of the accident.
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