Accidents are inevitable in life. In fact, it only takes one accident for your life to be turned upside down. Whether the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence or a defective product, you may be facing serious injuries that require extensive medical treatment and a prolonged recovery period forcing you to stay out of work and unable to support yourself or your family.
If the accident occurred as a result of another party’s negligence, you might be able to file a personal injury claim to recover suffered damages.
The first step in filing a personal injury lawsuit is proving that someone else’s negligence caused the accident. Once negligence has been established, you can then begin to seek compensation for your damages.
The type and amount of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit will largely depend on the specifics of your case. This article discusses the different types of damages that can be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. Read on to learn more.
Common Types of Personal Accidents That Can Lead to Personal Injury Lawsuits
Before we dive into the types of damages that can be recovered in a personal injury lawsuit, it’s important to understand the different types of accidents that can give rise to a personal injury claim:
- Auto accidents: According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), there are more than 6 million car crashes yearly. These accidents can be caused by several factors, including speeding, distracted driving, intoxicated driving, and weather conditions.
- Slip and fall accidents: Premises liability law requires property owners to maintain their property in a reasonably safe condition. If a property owner fails to do so and you are injured as a result, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the property owner.
- Medical malpractice: When you go to the doctor or hospital, you trust that you will receive proper care. Unfortunately, there are times when medical professionals make mistakes that can seriously injure or kill their patients. If you’ve been the victim of medical malpractice, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible parties.
- Workplace accidents: According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), there are more than 2.8 million workplace accidents yearly. These accidents can occur due to various factors, including unsafe work conditions, defective equipment, and employer negligence.
What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
There are two primary types of damages awarded in personal injury claims: compensatory and punitive damages. Here is how they work:
Compensatory damages are also known as actual damages. They are generally intended to compensate the injured victim for their losses. Compensatory damages can be awarded for both economic and non-economic losses.
Economic losses are those that have a specific monetary value attached to them, such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
Non-economic losses are more difficult to quantify and are typically awarded for more subjective losses such as loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.
Some of the common types of compensatory damages include:
- Medical Expenses: One of the most significant types of damages you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit are your past and future medical expenses. This can include the cost of ambulance transportation, hospitalization, surgery, medications, physical therapy, and other necessary medical treatment.
- Lost Wages: If your injuries have caused you to miss work, you can recover the wages you would have earned during that time. You can also recover future lost earnings if your injuries are expected to result in long-term or permanent disability.
- Property Damage: If your personal property was damaged due to the accident, you could recover the cost of repairs or replacement.
- Pain and Suffering: This type of non-economic damage is awarded to compensate you for the physical pain and suffering caused by your injuries.
- Emotional Distress: Emotional distress damages can be awarded for the mental anguish and emotional trauma caused by the accident and your injuries.
- Loss of Consortium: If your injuries have caused a loss of companionship or marital relations with your spouse, you may be able to recover damages for this type of loss.
Punitive damages are awarded in addition to compensatory damages and are intended to punish the responsible party for their actions or inactions. Punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the at-fault party was reckless or careless with their actions.
Punitive damages are generally much higher than compensatory damages and sometimes amount to tens of millions of dollars.
An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to help you determine the type of compensation you are entitled to and build a strong case to support your claim.
How Much Money Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The amount of money you can recover in a personal injury lawsuit will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the extent of your damages, and the strength of your case. In general, the more serious your injuries and the more damage you have suffered, the higher the potential compensation.
It is important to keep in mind that there is no guarantee you will recover any money in a personal injury lawsuit. An experienced personal injury attorney will be able to evaluate your case and give you a better idea of what you can expect.
How Long Does a Personal Injury Lawsuit Take?
The length of time it takes to resolve a personal injury lawsuit will depend on several factors, including the severity of your injuries, the complexity of your case, and the amount of money you are seeking in damages.
Generally, the more serious your injuries and the more complex your case, the longer it will take to resolve.
It is important to remember that every case is unique, and the timeline for your particular case may be different. An experienced personal injury attorney will give you a better idea of how long your case will likely take.
If you have been injured in an accident, it is important to understand what types of damages you may be able to recover.
Compensatory damages could help cover your medical expenses and lost wages, while punitive damages may be available if the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious.
How much money you can recover will depend on the specifics of your case, but our personal injury lawyers are here to help guide you through the process.