The Different Types of Damages in Personal Injury
Usually, there are two categories of monetary damages in personal injury cases, economic and non-economic. Rarely, a successful plaintiff can recover punitive damages. A Los Angeles personal injury attorney can talk with you about the kinds of compensation you could pursue and help you understand the different types of personal injury damages.
Economic damages represent financial losses a person can experience after getting harmed by someone else’s negligence. Some of the common types of economic losses include:
- Medical expenses. Typically, a personal injury plaintiff can seek to recover the reasonable cost of the medical treatment they needed for their wounds. Some examples are the ambulance, emergency room, hospital, doctors, surgery, blood transfusions, diagnostic procedures, physical therapy, prescription drugs, and pain management.
- Lost wages. If a person missed paychecks while away from the job recuperating from their injuries and undergoing medical treatments like surgery and physical therapy, they can include this financial loss in their injury claim.
- Long-term care. Debilitating wounds like spinal cord damage and head trauma can make a person dependent on daily assistance with medical treatments and personal care. The at-fault party should be responsible for this expense.
- Lost future wages. Severe wounds can leave a person unable to earn as much income as before the accident, even after reaching maximum healing. The decrease in earnings is a financial hardship.
The kinds of monetary damages you can go after for your economic losses will depend on your circumstances. Every personal injury case is different.
Some losses are not as easy to measure because they do not tend to come with a paper trail like invoices or receipts, but your personal injury lawyer knows how to calculate the fair range of compensation. Some examples of non-economic damages, also called intangible losses, are:
- Pain and suffering. For purposes of personal injury damages, pain is the physical discomfort and suffering is the inconvenience and emotional distress of getting injured by someone else’s carelessness.
- Disfigurement damages can be appropriate when a person develops extensive scars from their wounds and medical treatments.
- A significant number of people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after experiencing a horrific accident.
- Chronic depression and anxiety can result from a severe injury, particularly one that leaves a lasting impact on your quality of life.
- People who suffer life-changing injuries, like paralysis or amputation, can experience a loss of enjoyment of life due to their impairments.
You will want to talk to a personal injury lawyer about all the ways that you have been affected by your injuries. If you think of a loss that you inadvertently did not include in your claim, but you already settled your claim, you cannot go back and ask for more money.
In rare instances, one can ask the court to award punitive damages, above and beyond the economic and intangible damages. Awards of punitive damages often make the news, because these awards happen so infrequently. You have to prove extraordinary conduct on the part of the defendant, like actual malice or reckless disregard for the safety of others, to qualify for punitive damages.
A Los Angeles personal injury attorney can help you seek the compensation you deserve in your personal injury case. For help with your case, get in touch with our office today.