Personal injury claim

Types of Damages Available in Personal Injury Cases

By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Being injured in an accident can be very stressful. In California, when you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may have a right to file a claim against the person who caused the accident. Your claim may include various types of injuries, including those that may not have occurred yet. A California personal injury attorney can review your case and help you determine your rights and options.  

What Is a Personal Injury Claim?

A personal injury claim is a lawsuit. An injured person, called a Plaintiff, files their claim against the party who caused the injury. The Defendant is the person, company, or entity the suit is brought against. 

These lawsuits seek compensation for the injuries and harm the plaintiff suffered or will suffer. The common thread in personal injury claims is that someone’s negligence caused an accident, and this caused someone else to get hurt.

Identifying who is at fault for an accident is important because California is an “at-fault” liability state. An injured person may file a claim against the “at-fault” party but should be aware that any contribution they made to causing the accident is taken into account. This consideration is called comparative negligence. If an injured party contributed to the accident by being negligent in any way, their damages and recovery may be reduced by their degree of responsibility. 

Figuring this all out can be stressful and confusing. An attorney can evaluate your case’s facts and advise you on how to proceed and if you have a claim.  

What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Case?

The value of a personal injury case and what can be recovered comes down to what types of damages a person has. California law allows the injured person to recover damages from the “at-fault” party. Let’s review some of the types of damages a person can recover.

First are compensatory damages. This is further broken down into “general damages” and “special damages.” General damages are non-economic damages, also known as pain and suffering. Special Damages are monetary damages such as medical bills, lost income, future income and earning capacity, and any other expenses incurred due to the accident and injury.

A second type of damages is punitive damages. These are rare and can be very difficult to obtain. California permits the recovery of punitive damages when a Plaintiff can show clear and convincing evidence that Defendant acted with malice, oppression, or fraud. The case must usually involve intentional harm or extreme recklessness by the Defendant. 

Consult With an Attorney

The law surrounding damages is complicated. If you have been injured, it is imperative to consult with an attorney who understands the law surrounding damages. Damages are often the most crucial aspect of your case. Time is limited in California to bring a personal injury claim in California. You usually have two years, with certain exceptions. We understand the importance of promptly addressing your claim. Contact us today for a free consultation.

About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.