Types Of Compensation and Damages For Personal Injury

Types Of Compensation and Damages For Personal Injury
Types Of Compensation and Damages For Personal Injury

Types Of Compensation and Damages For Personal Injury


Understanding typical forms of compensation is the first step in valuing a personal injury case.

-Revised by attorney Stacy Barret of UC Law San Fransico

One is entitled to damages for your losses if another person or organization’s deliberate misconduct or carelessness (“negligence”) caused you harm. This kind of recompense is known legally as “damages.”

Here is what you should know about damages before submitting a personal injury lawsuit or filing an insurance claim:

  • Generally, there are two types of damages: compensatory and punitive. Compensatory damages are intended to restore the injured party to complete health.
  • Compensation for suffering and pain as well as out-of-pocket costs such as medical bills are illustrations of compensatory damages.
  • Punitive damages are intended to penalise the offending individual or group.
  • In every instance involving a personal injury, compensatory damages are possible. Few cases result in the award of punitive losses.

To obtain a rough idea of the potential value of your personal injury case, you must be aware of the various forms of compensation that are available.

Common Personal Injury Case Types

Personal Injury legislation, also referred to as “tort” law, focuses on giving compensation to those who have suffered harm because of others’ actions. Typical personal injury claim examples are as follows:

Car Accidents  

In the US, most personal injury claims and lawsuits are the result of car accidents. Most automobile accidents occur when drivers do not follow traffic rules properly. In many states, the driver who caused the accident is liable to pay for any damages or injuries sustained.

The insurance claim procedure is how most car accident claims are resolved. A car accident lawsuit may need to be documented if settlement negotiations break down or if the at-fault driver, does not have an insurance policy.

Intentional Torts

Although personal injury lawsuits centre on accidents, you have the right to pursue legal action against someone who knowingly causes you harm. For instance, if you are assaulted, you have the right to sue the offending party in civil court to recover losses and/or pursue criminal charges against the assaulter.

Product Liability

Individuals who suffer harm from a product that is too hazardous or faulty may file a lawsuit against the manufacturers and sellers of the product. Many product liability cases involve tens of thousands of harmed plaintiffs, making them mass torts.

Slip And Fall Cases

Any lawsuit that involves “slip and fall” incidents, also referred to as “premises liability” lawsuits, these incidents are another frequent category of personal injury claims.

Landlords are legally obligated to maintain the security of their residences and enterprises. The owner of the property may be sued for damages if someone is hurt by it due to unsafe conditions.

Medical malpractice, defamation, wrongful death, dog bite injuries, and child sexual abuse are a few other examples of cases relating to personal injury.

Two Types of Compensatory Damages

The purpose of compensatory damages is to compensate for the losses that are faced by the plaintiff. To the feasible extent, they are meant to restore plaintiffs to complete health, after the accident. Compensatory damages fall into two primary categories: General and Special.

General or non-economic Damages

It is more difficult to qualify general damages than special ones (also known as non-economic damages). They are intended to reimburse plaintiffs for damages that are intangible and related to an injury, such as “pain and suffering.”

General damages examples are as follows:

  • Physical disfigurement or disability
  • Reputational loss
  • Diminished enjoyment of life
  • Pain and suffering (both mental and physical)

Specific Damages

Economic damages, also referred to as special damages, are awarded to plaintiffs to cover their out-of-pocket costs associated with their losses. Special losses can take the following forms:

  • Medical bills (past and future)
  • Lost income (past and future)

The cost of replacing or repairing damaged properties as well as the expense of home services while the plaintiff is ill.

The maximum number of special damages that a plaintiff may obtain in a lawsuit of personal injury, is limitless in almost all jurisdictions. By using the “preponderance of the evidence” (more probable than not) criterion, plaintiffs are compelled to provide evidence on the amount of their damages.

Punitive Damages

The purpose of compensatory damages is to make up for the plaintiff’s damages. Punitive losses are not the same. The objective of punitive damages is to hold defendants accountable for their misbehaviour.

Punitive damages are only available in certain jurisdictions in situations involving deliberate wrongdoing, such as sexual assault, or violent battery, or deceptive wrongdoing, such as violent battery, deceptive practices, or sexual assault, that result in substantial financial harm.

Punitive damages may be granted in certain states when there has been” gross negligence.” When defendants neglect other people’s lives or safety, they are committing severe neglect.

Wrongful Death Damages 

The surviving family members of the deceased may bring a claim or lawsuit of wrongful death when the victim’s death is caused by the intentional misconduct or negligence of another person.

Wrongful death damages examples are as follows:

  • Loss of consortium
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Emotional distress
  • The price of the deceased’s medical care before death, and their agony (referred to as a “survival claim”
  • Loss of deceased person’s anticipated income, and the value of services that the deceased person would have been rendered.

On behalf of survivors, a representative of the estate of the victim usually files wrongful death cases. Each jurisdiction has its criteria for defining who is considered a survivor.

Differentiating Between Personal Injury Lawsuit And Claims

Either a personal injury lawsuit a personal injury claim, or occasionally both, may be used to recover damages.

Claim For Personal Injury

You go to an insurance company and file a personal injury claim. You receive your own insurance company involved in a first-party claim. You submit a third-party claim to the person or organization that injured you through their insurance provider.

The courts are not involved in the claim’s procedure. Rather, you attempt to privately negotiate an insurance company settlement.

Personal Injury Cases

You can bring a civil action in court under the name “personal injury lawsuit.” You may decide to bring a lawsuit immediately to adhere to your state’s “statute of limitations” or you may wait to file until after settlement negotiations with the said insurance company fail.

Throughout the litigation process, settlement negotiations are still open. You will have to either dismiss your lawsuit or go to trial if you are unable to agree.

How To Collect Damages?

Damages may be awarded to you by a court judgment or a negotiated settlement. However, how can you obtain your money?

The procedure is quite simple if you and your insurance company have negotiated a settlement. After signing a release, you will get your settlement cheque. Up to policy limits, insurance companies will pay settlements or court verdicts without hassle.

The process of getting your money back can become more difficult if you win a court award following a trial. You might have to wait until the other party files an appeal.

Some defendants may not be willing or able to pay. By attempting to locate hidden assets, putting property liens, and even garnishing paychecks, an attorney can assist you in collecting the same.

Talk To An Attorney

Speak with a lawyer if you are considering bringing a personal injury claim or lawsuit. In addition to helping, you determine the worth of your personal injury settlement, a lawyer can answer your questions.





Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here