Types of Damages in a Lawsuit
If you’re filing a personal injury claim, it’s important to know the types of damages in a lawsuit that you can collect. Here, we will discuss the two overarching types of damages in a lawsuit: compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Though no amount of compensation can make this traumatic event go away, the personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta are here to serve you and your family to fight for the support and peace you deserve.
Compensatory damages are damages that are awarded to you to compensate for costs that are associated with your injury. This type of damage should be available in most personal injury cases, and there are 3 main types of compensatory damages. These are prevalent in almost all types of injury claims. So, what are the 3 types of damages in a lawsuit under compensatory damages?
Special compensatory damages
Often called “economic damages,” special compensatory damages are meant to reimburse you for any expenses you had to pay for or any income you lost as a result of your accident. These types of damages in a lawsuit are typical quantifiable, and include:
- Medical expenses: Suffering minor to severe injuries such as a catastrophic brain injury can leave you with overwhelming medical expenses. Keeping track of the following bills, receipts, and the types of treatments you were given can help you receive compensation for these expenses:
- Bills for hospital stay
- Ambulance fees
- Surgery and lab test costs
- Cost of prescription medication
- Physical therapy, rehabilitation, and pain management treatments
- Caretaking expenses
- Property damages: You can be awarded compensation for damages to your personal property (vehicle, bike, boat, etc.) that happened during the time of the accident.
- Loss of wages (past and future): Any earnings that you lost or may lose in the future as a result of your accident can be compensated.
General compensatory damages
General compensatory damages are types of damages in a lawsuit that typically address the overall harm that was done due to the injury. They typically aren’t always quantifiable. There isn’t one single way to measure someone’s amount of suffering, so these damages will be unique to each plaintiff. Determining general damages often involves assigning an exact dollar amount to a subjective injury and is typically decided by the court.
- Pain and suffering: Pain and suffering can refer to long-term physical complications due to your injury. You may ask to be awarded for pain and suffering during the injury as well as potential pain and suffering you may endure in the future. Your medical provider can establish how long they predict you’ll be in recovery from your injury and the complications that go along with it.
- Mental anguish: If you suffer from conditions such as depression or PTSD as a result of your accident.
- Physical disfigurement and/or impairment: The accident left you with any type of physical disability that can prevent you from doing your job or the things you used to enjoy before the injury.
Wrongful death damages
If a loved one has died due to someone else’s negligent acts, you may be entitled to wrongful death damages. This type of damage is a mix of special and general compensatory damages, but are only applicable in a wrongful death claim. For example, with the help of a fatal car accident lawyer in Houston, the surviving family members can file a claim for reimbursement for the following expenses:
- Funeral or burial expenses: To help cover the expensive costs associated with a funeral/burial service for the deceased.
- Medical expenses before the victim’s death: If the victim was in medical care as a result of the accident before their death, this would help to pay those bills.
- Loss of companionship: This is typically awarded to the spouse, partner, or close family members of the deceased who has lost their relationship with the victim.
- Loss of financial contribution: Loss of the victim’s income that can affect the surviving family members.
For more information on wrongful death claims, visit our article What is a wrongful death lawsuit?
Punitive damages, or exemplary damages, are meant to punish the party responsible for your injury. This type of damage is awarded a lot less frequently than compensatory; however, if the court concludes that the compensation awarded to you won’t deter the person from committing the same act again, you may be awarded punitive damages.
How to collect damages in a personal injury claim
If you or a loved one are injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s important to call a personal injury lawyer that you trust as soon as possible. When it comes to dealing with an insurance adjuster, our attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta have the proper knowledge and experience as former insurance lawyers to help you stay clear of the tricks that insurance adjusters use to whittle down settlement offers.
The legal process can be tricky to navigate, especially if you’re dealing with the aftermath of such a traumatic event. Remember, you don’t have to go through this alone. We will help you negotiate a settlement, understand the types of damages in a lawsuit available to you and, if necessary, take your case to trial.
Grimes & Fertitta: Fighting for the Compensation You Deserve
At Grimes & Fertitta, we believe that you shouldn’t have to suffer from financial distress due to someone else’s negligence. Depending on the circumstances of your case, there may be many types of damages in a lawsuit that are available to help see you through this difficult time.
The experienced personal injury attorneys at Grimes & Fertitta are here to support you throughout the legal process. Will work hard to help you obtain the financial compensation you and your family need to rebuild your life.
Contact us online today or call us at 713-224-7644 today for a free consultation.
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