Most people know they can sue to recover damages, but did you know that “damages” actually encompasses many different kinds of compensation? Knowing what kinds of damages you are eligible for can be helpful information when considering whether to bring a lawsuit.
Actual damages are damages you receive for proving that you suffered an actual injury. An actual injury typically includes personal injury or property damage. Generally, demonstrating that you only suffered an economic loss because of an injury is not enough to qualify you for actual damages.
Emotional Distress Damages
If the act that injured you caused both physical harm and emotional distress, you can also sue to recover emotional distress damages. For example: if you are walking and hit by a car, and as a result you suffer multiple broken bones as well as recurring panic attacks and PTSD, you may be able to recover for the physical and emotional aspects of your injury.
Compensatory damages are damages which make a victim whole again, as if they never suffered the injury. For example, if you are injured in a car accident and as a result have a limb amputated, compensatory damages would be available to compensate you for the loss of your limb in an effort to “make you whole” again.
Personal Injury-Specific Damages
There are several categories of damages specific to personal injury suits. In personal injury cases, you can recover for past and future medical and rehabilitative expenses and pain and suffering. You can also recover for lost income and any reduction in your ability to earn in the future.
Punitive damages are available if you can show that the person who injured you acted in a manner that exceeds simple negligence. Generally, this would mean extreme and outrageous conduct. Often, punitive damages are available in cases involving intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In cases where you are suing for the wrongful death of a loved one, you can generally recover damages to compensate you for the loss of support, companionship, or affection resulting from the loss of that individual. You cannot, however, recover for the pain and suffering that person endured. For example: if you sue for the wrongful death of your spouse, you can recover for the loss of their wages and the loss of their companionship.
Survival actions are those brought on behalf of the deceased. Damages available in these cases include those available to the decedent at the time of their death, including pain and suffering. For example: if your spouse died as the result of a lengthy battle with injuries sustained in a car accident, you can recover for their pain and suffering.
What Should You Do if You Have Been Injured?
If you’re injured due to the fault of another person, you deserve to be compensated for your pain and suffering. Determining what kinds of damages you are eligible for can be complicated, which is why you need the help of an experienced attorney. The personal injury attorneys at J&Y Law have extensive experience with personal injury cases and are ready to get you the most compensation possible. Contact J&Y Law today to learn more.