In a personal injury lawsuit, plaintiffs may claim monetary damages from the person or organization that is held legally responsible for the accident. The amount of damages may be arrived at after negotiated settlements between the parties, attorneys or insurance companies.
Damage awards may also be ordered by a jury or judge after a court trial. Most damages that are awarded are done so under the marquee of compensatory damages. Basically, this is the amount that is meant to compensate the victim for what was lost during the accident or through injury in the accident. There are many different types of compensatory damages such as:
Medical: This is one of the most common personal injury damages awarded. It includes the cost of medical care that is associated with the accident and injury. Under this heading, victims receive monetary compensation for the cost of medical care already incurred as well as for estimated medical care costs in the future owing to the accident.
Wages: Some plaintiffs may be eligible for loss of income related damages. This includes compensation for salary and wages that have been and might still be impacted by the accident and injury. The damages paid for future loss of wages is classified under ‘loss of earning capacity’.
Pain and Suffering: Plaintiffs may be eligible to receive compensatory damages based on physical and mental pain and suffering that they have endured till date, and that they may possibly endure in the future because of the accident/injury.
Property: Reimbursement of fair value of personal property like vehicle, clothing, and other belongings that were damaged in the accident is also a possible type of compensatory damage.
Loss of Enjoyment: Some accidents cause injuries that keep you from living life the way you used to. When accident injuries stop you from enjoying activities that you would have otherwise (exercise and recreational pursuits), you may be entitled to damages due to ‘loss of enjoyment’.
Consortium Loss: In personal injury lawsuits, consortium loss damages basically relate to the impact an accident and resultant injuries might have had on the victim’s relationship with their spouse, living partner, or children. This includes loss of companionship, inability to maintain a sexual relationship and more. In some lawsuits, these damages may be awarded to the family member affected by the loss of consortium rather than to the injured victim.
Other than compensatory damages, victims may also be awarded punitive damages in some cases.