Types Of Damages In Personal Injury Cases

A tort is a civil wrong for which the law provides a remedy in the form of monetary damages. To recover compensation under the tort of negligence, the plaintiff needs to prove that a duty was owed to the injured party, the duty was breached and was the legal cause of the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.

Three Types of Damages Recoverable in Personal Injury Cases:

Economic Damages

Economic damages include property damage, the cost of past and future medical and hospital bills, past and future loss of earnings, property and all economic loss that can be reasonable calculated as a result of the defendants negligence.

General Damages

General damages include pain and suffering, emotional distress and loss of companionship, comfort and emotional support. It does not include psychiatric injuries. Psychiatric injuries are considered medical economic damages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are assessed when the the defendant’s actions were not only intentional but despicable under the circumstances. It is a very high burden of proof the plaintiff must meet and consequently punitive damage awards are rarely upheld on appeal. The imposition of punitive damages is public policy driven. It is meant to punish and dissuade others similarly situated from engaging in similar types of malicious conduct. Punitive damages is usually based on the defendants wealth to the degree the punitive damage amount will sufficiently deter the defendant from engaging in such behavior in the future. However, over the past decade, state courts have required that there must be a reasonable connection between the actual harm suffered and the degree of punitive damages awarded.

Damages Cannot Be Speculative

Damage claims can not be speculative, such that it would require the reasonable person to guess in order to determine the value of the claim  If you have been damaged by someone else’s torturous conduct, you should consult with an attorney who can help determine the value of your damages and your chance of recovery.

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