As personal injury cases involve significant compensation to help victims alleviate the injury they suffer, it is essential to know the different payment types you are due to receive before making an appearance with your compensation lawyers
The compensation that the plaintiff in a personal injury case receives is known as damages. We can classify damages into two main types. These are:
● Economic Damages
● Non-economic Damages
Economic damages refer to the compensation you receive for any costs incurred in the treatment or repairs required in a personal injury case. It is easier to obtain a fair value of economic damages as it covers visible damages and injuries.
Economic Damages can be further classified into three types.
● Medical Expenses
● Lost Wages
● Property Damage
As in the cases of accidents and work-related injuries, victims of personal injury cases require a lot of medical care. It would be unfair to allow the victims to bear the cost of treating damages for which another party is responsible. Therefore, the court awards damages to replace any amount they have spent on treating their injuries and cover the cost of any further treatment they would require.
This settlement covers the expenses such as appointments with specialists, purchase of drugs, procurement of medical equipment such as wheelchairs, and the total cost of any travel that victims would make.
However, it is essential to know that no remuneration is paid for underlying medical conditions except the injury that the defendant causes has aggravated such conditions.
Due to the severity of the injury, victims of personal injury cases may be unable to work for some time - or the rest of their lives. Therefore, it is necessary to cover the wages they would have received if they could work. Families who have lost their breadwinner in a personal injury case also obtain this form of damages to cover the financial support they will no longer receive.
Also, damage to properties such as working equipment could put individuals out of work for extended periods. Therefore, the defendants must provide due restitution to cover the revenue they lost by being out of business.
As in most personal injury cases, restoring damaged property to its previous state or replacing it incurs significant expenses. The court grants adequate compensation to cover such costs.
As it is easy to reach a fair estimate of economic damages, it is vital to obtain a receipt of every penny spent on treating injuries and any repair to damaged properties. This way, it is easier to receive full restitution for economic damages.
Unlike economic damages, the court awards non-economic damages for unquantifiable losses. We can further classify non-economic damages into two:
● Intangible Losses
● Punitive Damages
Besides the physical injury and property damage, other intangible losses in a personal injury case require some form of restitution. Most times, the victims of individual injury cases may suffer severe distress in the course of an injury. They may also suffer losses from which they would never recover. Non-economic damages are provided to compensate for such losses.
These losses include:
● Permanent disfigurement
Depending on the severity of the incident, most personal injury cases have to live the rest of their lives with blindness, immobility, amputated limbs, damaged organs, or even a hideous scar. Besides the payments that victims receive for their medical expenses and lost wages, they also receive additional income to ease the emotional trauma of living with such conditions for the rest of their lives.
● Loss of status
Besides losing their wages due to their permanent disabilities, the plaintiffs of injury cases could also lose their social status. However, the court provides adequate restitution for lost wages; this is nothing compared with social amenities that come with holding a position in an organization or being a member of particular societies.
There will never be a price enough for human life. Most personal injury victims may have no physical injury on their person but could have lost their loved ones. Besides paying the wages of a family's deceased breadwinner, the court awards damages to ease the surviving family members' trauma.
● Emotional distress
Besides the trauma victims suffer from their injuries, they could also experience varying degrees of fear and anxiety during the incident. Furthermore, victims could suffer emotional distress due to the permanent damage to or loss of properties such as a family heirloom. Therefore, they must get some relief from this distress too.
Depending on the severity of the injury inflicted and the defendant's degree of responsibility, the court could award punitive damages.
The court not only gives punitive damages to compensate the victims, it makes an example of the defendant. Punitive damages serve as a reminder to both the defendants and other public members of the need to take more responsibility for their actions.
It is essential to know that although it is harder to arrive at an estimate for non-economic damages, they often make up the bulk of the damages victims receive in a personal injury case.
Although victims may receive damages in a personal injury case, other factors could hinder the case.
Having the right insurance cover for your property would improve your claims for any damages you deserve.
It is also crucial that you remain entirely blameless in the injury case. If there is sufficient evidence to prove that you violated established rules such as traffic and safety codes, your claims will suffer significantly.