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Understanding the types of damages involved with serious injuries

On Behalf of | Sep 7, 2016 | Uncategorized

If you are involved in an incident where someone is seriously injured, it’s almost a sure thing that legal actions seeking compensation will follow at some point.  Lawyers representing parties involved in serious injury cases are charged with either minimizing the amount of damages a plaintiff can collect, or maximizing the award, which can come in many forms.

The exact amount will vary from case to case, but will include two types of damages – compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory Damages will attempt to provide resources to bring the person back to full health; financially, physically and emotionally, as if the incident never occurred.  Compensatory damages will be divided into two categories – monetary, known as special damages, and non-monetary, known as general damages.

Monetary losses include medical expenses, including past and future medical care and rehabilitation.  It also includes lost wages and future earning capacity, as well as any costs that might be associated with living with a disability.  Repairing or replacing property and funeral expenses are also a part of this category.

Non-monetary losses are difficult to calculate and may vary widely from victim to victim.  They include pain a suffering awards for physical and emotional damage, and the loss of consortium which is compensation associated with the loss of affection and intimacy in a marriage or other close family relationships.

Punitive damages are not designed to compensate the victim.  They are put in place to punish a defendant for causing injuries to the victim.  Punitive damages are awarded to deter others from engaging in similar activities and are typically seen where a defendant’s behavior has been particularly offensive (i.e. drunk driving).

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