Did you know that you are entitled to compensation if you are injured due to someone’s negligence? However, the amount you are entitled to will vary depending on your injury and the circumstances surrounding the accident. It can be challenging to obtain proper compensation without understanding personal injury law. This is where Keystone Law Firm steps in to help.
With the help of a personal injury lawyer, you can understand the type of compensation you can get depending on your injuries. But before you can go down that road, let’s look at the different kinds of compensation available for personal injury claims.
Types of Personal Injury Compensation
The legal term for personal injury compensation is damages, and it is split into two primary categories: punitive and compensatory damages. Compensatory damages seek to compensate or reimburse an injured party for their injuries. These damages are available in most injury cases like slips and falls, car accidents, or medical malpractice cases.
On the other hand, punitive damages punish the responsible party for causing you harm. This type of damage isn’t related to the injuries you sustained. They are also not awarded as frequently as compensatory damages.
So, let’s take a look at each compensation in-depth.
As mentioned earlier, almost all personal injury cases involve compensatory damages. It’s important to note that these types of damages can be broken down into two categories: general and special compensatory damages.
1. Special Compensatory Damages
These compensatory damages are designed to reimburse personal injury victims for the monetary losses the injury caused. The monetary losses will include:
It’s no secret that going back to work immediately after a major accident is not an option. With no job, most personal injury victims end up losing their income. You are entitled to compensation for any lost income due to the injuries you sustained. For instance, if you haven’t gone to work for two weeks because of an injury you suffered in an accident due to someone else’s negligence, you are entitled to compensation for the lost two weeks.
Also, if your injuries resulted in a disability that automatically reduced your future earning ability, you are entitled to compensation.
Treating your injuries isn’t cheap, as medical expenses can quickly add up. Fortunately, you are entitled to compensation for the cost of the treatment you incur because of the injuries you sustained. You are also entitled to compensation for future medical expenses, especially those you may incur, even after settling the personal injury case.
Some medical expenses you can receive compensation for include:
- Hospital stays
- Physical therapy
- Massage therapy
However, it’s important to consider that if your health insurer does pay for your medical bills, your insurer will expect reimbursement from the compensation.
2. General Compensatory Damages
These are also referred to as non-economic or general damages. They are designed to reimburse you for the non-monetary consequences of your injuries. However, it’s important to note that these types of damages are difficult to prove, which is why keeping a good record is important.
While these types of damages may vary depending on the case, some common examples include:
Suffering and Physical Pain
The reimbursement you receive for your medical expenses doesn’t consider the pain and suffering you may have endured. Physical pain and suffering are subjective, so judges, juries, and insurance companies have to rely on different factors to determine them.
Some of these factors include:
- Your recovery time
- Your injury
- The medication you were prescribed
- The permanence of your injury
To prove physical pain and suffering, ensure you report every instance of pain to your doctor. You can use those records to claim compensation for your pain.
You can also claim compensation for the emotional distress caused by your injuries. However, it is impossible to quantify emotional distress like pain and suffering.
The primary goal of punitive damages is to punish the parties responsible for wrongful death. However, for you to be awarded punitive damages, the court must find that the responsible party is capable of repeating the same mistake.
Also, your chances of the court awarding you punitive damages will increase if the institution or person acted with gross negligence or maliciousness.
Working with a lawyer will help you know the right type of compensation to claim for your personal injury case.