Before one starts calculating valuation of a personal injury claim, it’s important to understand different kinds of punitive damages.
If you have reasons to file a personal injury lawsuit after suffering an injury in a slip and fall, car accident or any other type of injury, the first thing that might strike your mind is how much you will be able to recover. The one-liner response to your query is it depends on the type and extent of injury. How much you will receive as compensation is subject to how much your injury has cost you physically, mentally and financially (and in some cases, if the defendant should be punished for his or her action that caused the harm to the plaintiff).
Compensation awarded to the injured can be ensured through trial in a court where a jury or judge decides the compensable amount. However, in most personal injury cases, the disputes are resolved through negotiations between the parties, insurers and their attorneys.
Personal Injury Cases – Understanding Compensatory Damages
Compensatory personal injury damages are intended to compensate the victims for what they lost due to the accident or injury. These damages are purposefully designed to make the plaintiff financially “whole” as much as possible. It clearly refers to an effort to convert all the possible consequences of an accident or injury into money. It’s easy to calculate some compensatory damages such as, medical bills and property damage reimbursement. However, it’s fairly difficult to put a dollar figure on “pain and suffering” or the victim’s inability to continue hobbies due to physical restrictions resulting from long-time or permanent accident-related injuries.
Throw a look at different kinds of compensatory damages intrinsic to many personal injury cases:
- Medical Treatment
- Property Loss
- Pain and Suffering
- Emotional Distress
- Loss of Enjoyment
- Loss of Consortium
Personal Injury Cases – Understanding Punitive Damages
If it is established that the defendant’s conduct is offensive, careless or egregious, the plaintiff may receive punitive damages in addition to compensatory damage award. These damages ensue from a logical way different from the justification for compensatory damages, which are an effort to make the injured “whole” from a financial point of view.
The real goal behind awarding punitive damages is to punish the at-fault party by hitting them in their pocketbook for his or her careless, reckless or intentional action and to issue a warning. Punitive damages often run into millions of dollars and that is why, most states have set a higher limit on punitive damages that will be awarded to a personal injury victim.
Is Damage Award Related to Plaintiff’s Role?
In some personal injury cases, a victim’s role in occurrence of an accident or his or her inaction after suffering an injury can reduce the amount of damages to be awarded. These cases are as follows:
- Comparative Negligence
- Contributory Negligence
- Failing to Mitigate Damages after the Accident
Consult a Hallandale Beach personal injury attorney if you have sustained an injury to know how much your personal injury case is worth.