What Types Of Damages Can I Recover In A Personal Injury Case?
Damages in a personal injury case are intended to “make the plaintiff whole” or put them back in the same position they were in before the accident. Unfortunately, the only way our legal system can attempt to do this is by providing for a monetary award to compensate for the damages caused by someone’s negligence.
As each accident is different, each client is different, and as each injury can affect each client differently, the damages in each case may be different.
In fact, the only damages category that each injured client shares is past pain and suffering. This category is intended to compensate for the pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life from the date of your accident until the date of the verdict. Injured victims with permanent injuries are also entitled to claim future pain and suffering which is intended to compensate you for the pain, suffering and loss of enjoyment of life from the date of the verdict until the end of your life expectancy which is determined by life expectancy tables.
Some injury clients may also be entitled to recover for past medical expenses depending on the type of accident and how your medical bills were paid. For example, in a motor vehicle accident case, there are typically no past medical expenses as they are usually covered by the no-fault insurance carrier which cannot assert a lien. However, there may be instances where the medical provider will have a valid lien on your case and you will need to recover damages for the past medical bills in order to reimburse the provider for what they paid on your behalf.
Some clients may also claim damages for future medical expenses if there is evidence that future care is necessary. You may also be entitled to past and future lost wages if your injuries have caused you to lose time from work. For others, such as union workers, government employees, and other private sector employees, you may also be entitled to future lost pension benefits, fringe and health benefits.
Here is a list of the type of damages that an injury victim may be entitled to, depending on the specific facts of their case:
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Past and future medical expenses
- Past and future lost wages
- Emotional trauma
- Lost pension benefits
- Mental anguish
- Lost social security retirement benefits
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Property damage
If you have additional questions about specific damages in a personal injury case, please contact us and we will be glad to provide you with additional information.