If you have been involved in a slip and fall, a workplace or an automobile accident or any other kind of injury, and considering filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may well be thinking if it would really be worth the trouble and the expense. You will only be able to answer that question by figuring out the cost of the injury, not only in monetary terms but also in terms of physical and mental damage, besides any need to punish the conduct of the defendant.
Monetary damages in a personal injury case are paid to the person who is injured by those who have been established legally as having been responsible, the defendant. If the defendant is insured, then the insurer will need to pay. If the compensation cannot be mutually settled between the plaintiff, the defendant, and their lawyers, it will have to be decided by a court of law after a trial. Some of the common types of personal injury damages:
Most often, damages arising from personal injury are termed as compensatory, which means that a sum of money is decided upon to compensate the plaintiff for the loss incurred due to the accident or injury sustained. While reimbursements for damage to property or for medical bills are straightforward, it can be quite difficult to put a dollar value to the suffering or pain or inability to perform certain things due to lingering physical limitations. Some common compensatory damage types:
Medical treatment: You can expect the damages awarded for personal injuries to include the cost of medical treatment, whenever the accident has resulted in a physical injury. The bill can be settled directly by the defendant or the insurer to the hospital or the plaintiff can be reimbursed the amount of actual medical treatment received. In case, there is any medical care that is expected in the future, then the amount is estimated and paid to the plaintiff.
Income: If due to the accident you have not been able to attend to your work and this has resulted in the loss of salary or wages, the amount that you have lost will be included in the award. In case, the injury is estimated to affect your future earnings, then the award will also include the amount of future income expected to be lost. Typically, Atlanta lawyers term this as the plaintiff’s loss of earning capacity.
Loss of property: In case, any assets belonging to the plaintiff have suffered damage due to the accident, the award is likely to include a reimbursement of the amount required to repair or replace the asset as per the fair market value of the damaged or lost property.
Pain and suffering: If you had experienced pain and discomfort of a serious nature during and after the accident, then you can ask for a suitable compensation. Emotional distress leading to anxiety, fear, or even loss of sleep is also eligible for compensation.
Loss of enjoyment: If due to the sustained injury, you are not able to enjoy recreational activities, hobbies, and fitness workouts, you can ask for the award to include compensation for loss of enjoyment.
Loss of consortium: When the injury suffered due to the accident prevents you from enjoying a normal relationship with your spouse, including sexual relationship or companionship, then you may be eligible for appropriate compensation. Some states may also include the loss of relationship with a child in the damages.
In addition to the compensatory damages, if the circumstances of the accident point to a complete lack of care and caution on the part of the defendant, you may be eligible to be awarded punitive damages. The real objective of the award of punitive damages is to punish the defendant monetarily so that it acts as a deterrent to not only the defendant but also sets a precedent for others to keep in mind. In the past, there have been a number of cases, where punitive damage awards have been in millions of dollars due to the nature of the accident and the extent of its fallouts.
Since the fallouts of accidents leading to personal injuries are many, you need to carefully assess the damage that has been caused and file a lawsuit that includes the necessary compensation. Consulting a competent personal injury lawyer is the best course of action.
Author bio; Nick Wayne is among the most reputed Atlanta lawyers in the domain of personal injury cases. He has successfully led the fight against large corporations that cause damage to individuals with their careless behavior.