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Personal injury cases typically arise when someone is injured because of another party’s negligence. People who are interested in filing a lawsuit against someone because of an injury often wonder what types of damages they can qualify to receive in a personal injury case. Below is an explanation of the different types of damages available in a personal injury case.
Type of Damages
Two main types of damages are available to victims in personal injury cases: compensatory damages and punitive damages. Damages are compensatory if they are designed to compensate the victim for the actual losses he or she experienced because of the incident and the resulting injury. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are those damages designed to punish the defendant for his or her conduct. Virtually all personal injury awards will include compensatory damages. However, the addition of punitive damages is not as common.
Understanding Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages encompass a wide variety of payments that cover the expenses and losses of a personal injury victim. Some of the most common categories of compensatory damages include:
The cost of medical care. In the majority of cases, an injury will lead to medical bills. Medical treatment may be necessary immediately following the incident, for a specific amount of time following the incident, or even indefinitely. Compensatory damages should cover the cost of medical care that has already been received, as well as the estimated cost of future medical expenses.
Loss of property. In many cases, incidents that lead to personal injury lawsuits also result in a loss of property, such as the loss of a vehicle. Compensatory damages should cover the cost of replacing items damaged or lost as a result of the incident.
Lost income. If an injury caused temporary or permanent disability, the victim is likely to lose wages and/or the ability to earn income in the future. Compensatory damages should replace lost wages and the estimated future income that will be lost because of the incident.
Emotional distress. Most personal injury cases focus on an incident that likely caused the victim significant mental anguish. Damages for emotional distress compensate the victim for the psychological impact of the incident.
Pain and suffering. Injuries and the treatment that follows are often painful for victims. Damages for pain and suffering are an attempt to make up for these physical consequences of the incident.
Loss of enjoyment and/or consortium. Many injuries and associated disabilities have an impact on the victim’s enjoyment of life and/or his or her relationship with a significant other. As a result, personal injury awards may include additional compensation for these losses.
More about Punitive Damages
Punitive damages will not be awarded in every personal injury case. Typically, punitive damages are awarded when the defendant’s actions are considered extremely negligent. Punitive damages will be awarded in addition to any compensatory damages. However, like many states, Texas imposes limits on the amount of punitive damages a victim can receive in a personal injury case.
Getting the Award You Deserve
If you have been the victim of a serious injury because of the negligence of another person or organization, you are entitled to compensation. Although this compensation will not make up for the suffering you have experienced, it can help you with your financial burdens and also help you move on with your life.
To maximize your chances of winning the award you deserve, you need a competent personal injury attorney to represent you in court. The experienced personal injury attorneys at Hernandez Law Group, P.C. will fight aggressively on your behalf to make sure that you get every dime you deserve for your injuries. Juan Hernandez is a board-certified personal injury attorney, which is a qualification that only 2 percent of Texas attorneys have. Contact us today to schedule a consultation or to learn more.