Dealing with a personal injury incident is never a fun thing, especially with the uncertainty behind all of it. The uncertainty about how long things will take, the uncertainty of how much you will get, the uncertainty of how combative the person accused of the personal injury will be, and honestly, whether the case will even conclude in the first place. Today, we are going to examine one of those areas: specifically, the kinds of damages that a personal injury lawyer can win for you.
What Are The Kinds Of Damages That A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Win For Me?
There are a lot of damages that may manifest from an injury that you suffered, and in turn, a lot of different things that you can pursue. The first category that can be covered by a personal injury lawsuit is referred to as special damages. These come in the form of multiple subcategories.
Medical expenses are an obvious part of damages for a personal injury case, as they directly lead from the incident. Medical expenses can come in many forms, including ambulance costs, medication costs, rehabilitation, and other general forms of medical costs. However, this is not limited to the medical costs you had already incurred by the time you have filed your personal injury lawsuit. You can expect to be able to receive compensation for future medical expenses as well.
When you sustain a severe enough injury, it is entirely probable that you may wind up losing out on wages. This does not only account for the wages you have lost before you sustained your injury, but also any wages that you were supposed to earn in the future. This is done by looking at your typical wages and extrapolating what they think you would have earned in the future if it is a permanent disability.
In the event that death is involved in a personal injury case, such as if someone else involved in the accident lost their life, requiring that you cover the costs of the funeral expenses of this person. You may be able to receive compensation for the cost of the funeral expenses as part of a personal injury lawsuit.
There are situations where the personal injury has more damage than just to yourself; these include property damage, such as damage to a vehicle, to your home, and to other kinds of property you own that may have been damaged in the incident.
While these are considered primary and common expenses as far as a personal injury lawsuit goes, they are not the only kind of expenses that you can consider pursuing. These kinds of damages are a little more nebulous, and as a result, can be a little more difficult to prove. The one that surely everyone knows of is pain and suffering, which is basically compensation for all of the physical harm that the injury put you through. However, harm does not only come in the form of physical injury and may also come in the form of mental anguish, which is also damage that can be pursued. Although, as mentioned above, this can be a lot more nebulous, and as such, you will have to provide more stringent evidence to show that such mental anguish actually occurred, such as a note from your therapist on it. This kind of mental anguish can manifest in many forms, including depression, anxiety, sleep issues, suicidal thoughts, anger, and more.
In situations where the injury is debilitating for a long time, even permanently, this can lead to a loss of quality of life. Let’s say that you were an avid runner before the injury, and as a result, you are no longer able to run. Or you used to enjoy going on drives, but you lost the ability to do so, such as if you lost the use of your lower half. Or heck, if you enjoy playing video games, but you lost your eyesight, wouldn’t that be pretty disappointing? Especially given how much money you would have invested in buying the games in the first place, only to no longer be able to play them anymore. These would all serve as an example of a loss of quality of life.
Of course, not everything you suffer from an injury is going to be exclusively internal. In fact, a lot of it can come from how other people perceive you as a result of the injury. A lot of people who suffer from an injury have a certain reputation among their peers, and suffering from that injury may result in that reputation going right down the drain. You may also experience humiliation as a result of the injury. It doesn’t even matter if other people are humiliating you for the injury, or what the injury has done to debilitate you, you may feel some level of humiliation as a result of it, particularly in how you view yourself.
Finally, this third category of damages refers less to the damages you suffered from, and more to the damages that you incur on them for their negligent action. These kinds of damages exist, more or less, to give an impetus to the person or persons responsible for the injury to take care that they do not repeat this action in the future. If the defendant acted grossly negligent, violently, maliciously, or even fraudulently, such punitive damage could be used against the defendant. These kinds of damages may even be bigger than the actual, quantifiable compensatory damages. Different states have different ways of handling punitive damages, so if you intend to pursue the defendant for punitive damages, you should consult with a lawyer who has expertise in the field of personal injuries, such as the attorneys at Ringer, Lingold, & Spencer, in order to understand how your state does things. The last thing you want to do is to have to worry about whether you will be caught with your pants down after actually going to trial. An attorney will also take the steps needed to actually prove that the defendant was negligent in the first place. They will investigate the incident and find evidence that the defendant:
- Breached their duty to you to not cause you any harm
- Caused the harm that the personal injury case is surrounding, and
- That the harm even resulted in the first place
Once this has been determined, the lawyer will take it to the next step, the next step being settling, if possible. After all, not every case is even going to go to trial. In fact, most often don’t. Many cases are so clear cut that there is a serious risk that the case if it went to trial, would be a more costly one than if you simply settled out of court, which a qualified personal injury lawyer is more than capable of doing. You may end up having to make concessions with how much money you receive, but the important thing to know is that an attorney will not settle for less than the minimum of what you need. Doing so would not confer many benefits at all, after all.