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Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

If you sustained an injury that was caused by the negligent actions of another party, you can pursue compensation through a personal injury lawsuit. If successful, you could recover various types of damages, which are determined on a case-by-case basis. Personal injury awards generally consist of two types of damages – punitive damages and compensatory damages.

Here is what you need to know about these two different categories of damages in a personal injury lawsuit:

  • Compensatory damages: These types of damages are intended to put the victim in the same position he or she would have been in had the incident never occurred. To accomplish this, a dollar amount must be placed on the victim’s injuries. Within the category of compensatory damages, there are two more sub-categories: monetary losses and non-monetary losses.
  • Monetary losses encompass any financial losses that are associated with the accident, such as medical expenses, the costs of living with a disability, lost wages, having to repair or replace property, and funeral expenses. The severity of the injury will play a role in determining compensation. For example, if an injury caused permanent disability that would require round-the-clock care for life, this would become result in a much higher award to ensure the injury victim does not have to bear the burden of this cost. If the injured victim later dies as a result of the injury, the family of the victim might recover funeral expenses.
  • Non-monetary losses tend to be more difficult to calculate and, as such, these damages can vary significantly from case to case. These types of damages include pain and suffering, such as emotional distress, frustration, fear, anger, and loss of enjoyment of life. Spouses of personal injury victims might also receive damages for the loss of emotional and intangible elements of a marriage, including sexual relations and loss of affection.
  • Punitive damages: Unlike the aforementioned damages, which are designed to compensate the victim, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for inflicting harm upon the victim and to deter others from acting similarly. These types of damages are not awarded in every case. Punitive damages are only applied when the behavior of the defendant is particularly egregious. Additionally, to prevent excessive punitive damage awards, the court usually limits it to less than ten times the amount of one’s compensatory damages.

Alexandria Personal Injury Attorney in Virginia

If you or a loved one was injured by the negligent or careless actions of another party, you might be entitled to receive compensation by filing a claim against them. At The Barrera Law Firm, PLLC, our skilled team of personal injury attorneys have guided countless individuals through the process of filing a personal injury claim. Backed by more than three decades of legal experience, you can feel confident in our firm’s ability to effectively represent you no matter how complex your case might be.

Reach out to our law firm today at (571) 290-2390 to request a free case review.