Know What’s Coming: An Overview of the Types of Damages Available in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

In a personal injury lawsuit, you may be entitled to compensation for any damages incurred. These could include personal injury as well as damage to property or another kind of loss. The different types of damages that a plaintiff may seek fall under two categories, namely compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory damages are where the injured party receives reimbursement for the harm they have experienced. These types of damages are available in almost every case where a party has been injured in some way, such as car accidents, slip and fall, medical malpractice and even wrongful death cases.

Punitive damages are awarded less frequently and seek to punish the individual(s) that caused the damage to the plaintiff for their wrongful or neglectful behavior.

Special compensatory damages

Special compensatory damages are awarded in personal injury cases because of the expenses the victim has incurred or the money they have lost due to the nature of their injuries. Any loss or expense that the victim has endured will be taken into consideration, making these types of damages unique to the individual. The amount awarded will also vary greatly depending on what happened.

Some of the most common types of special damages that a person may seek compensation for include:

  • loss of earnings
  • the potential loss of future earnings
  • medical expenses
  • future medical care costs
  • household expenses
  • any losses associated with canceled trips or altered plans

General compensatory damages

An injured person can also seek general compensatory damages which do not include monetary damages; instead, they are related to emotional loss or pain. They are called general damages because they seek to compensate for the damage that is “generally” sustained in an injury.

The more common types of general damages that a person may seek compensation for include:

  • pain and suffering
  • mental anguish
  • loss of consortium or companionship  

Wrongful death damages

Wrongful death damages seek to provide compensation for the surviving family members should a person die in an accident. The settlement helps family and loved ones cover expenses such as:

  • funeral and burial costs
  • pre-death medical care costs
  • emotional distress
  • loss of financial contribution
  • loss of services and support
  • loss of companionship and consortium

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are awarded when the defendant behaved in such a way that is considered reprehensible or despicable such as sexual assault or fraudulent behavior. It is also possible that these types of damages may be considered in cases where defective products or health risks associated with prescription drugs caused harm to the plaintiff.

How damages are collected

Once a settlement decision has been reached, the plaintiff is entitled to the damages awarded. Interest accrues on most damages, so it is in the best interests of the defendant to pay as soon as possible. However, if the defendant cannot or will not pay the agreed sum, it may be necessary for the plaintiff’s lawyers to assist by discovering undisclosed assets, garnishing wages, or placing liens on a property.

If you have been injured in an accident that wasn’t your fault and wish to seek damages, the compassionate, professional lawyers at The Bagneris Firm can help you. Call us today at  504-810-3995 for a free, confidential consultation.

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Bagneris Law Firm

The Bagneris Firm is an experienced civil litigation firm with decades of combined experience serving both plaintiffs and defendants in a wide-range of different cases including personal injury and business disputes. Our firm is based out of New Orleans, and we serve clients throughout Louisiana. Attorneys Emile and Suzette Bagneris have a long and impressive careers with experience training insurance adjusters and risk managers, representing large corporations and insurance companies, and helping individuals and businesses with all aspects of their legal cases. The fact that we have represented clients on all sides of legal issues allows us to better predict what will happen and prepare an effective strategy to help our clients.

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