If you are a victim of an accident that warrants a personal injury lawsuit, you will be facing a very challenging situation. Worries and stress about having enough money to pay hospital bills and other expenses incurred while unable to work don’t creep in slowly – they are in your face!
The reality is some accidents could have been prevented, and that includes yours. Does your mind take you to questions like what measures are there to ensure that what happened to me does not happen again? While this question is valid, so is the uncertainty of the outcome if you do file a personal injury case.
To help enlighten you, in this article, we will discuss the types of damages that are awarded at the end of the trial.
There are general damages to compensate the victim for non-economic losses, such as emotional distress, pain and suffering. These losses are usually difficult to calculate because you cannot attribute real economic value to the amount of trouble suffered. There are actuarial formulas that the insurance companies and personal injury lawyers at TGB lawyers often use to come up with values. In most cases, the jury will award greater damages to claimants who have suffered severe trauma.
The jury would be reluctant to grant general damages for the pain and suffering of a victim of an automobile accident who suffered only minor injuries and had a short stay in the hospital. If for example, the accident involved burns that resulted in several surgeries and several months of prolonged physical therapy, general damages will be awarded as compensation. Other examples of claims for general damages include disfigurement, loss of consortium, and loss of reputation which, again, are not easily quantifiable.
However, not all fit this bill, so it would be best to speak with personal injury lawyers at TGB lawyers as they can help you examine your specific situation and see what types of general damages may be available.
The special damage or economic damage can be measured by direct financial loss. The court often awards special damages for loss of income, medical expenses, property damage and other measurable economic damages caused by the defendant’s actions. The court will use medical bills, calculate the loss of wages in terms of time spent out of work and actual damage to the property in question.
Punitive damages serve to punish the defendant for negligence or reckless behaviour that has caused injury to the plaintiff. The punitive damages that the court awards to the plaintiff will serve as a deterrent and even as a warning to the accused. For the court to punish the wrongdoer and to put an end to the reckless and careless behaviour of society as a whole, the court will order him to pay an amount that will probably be over and above both the general and special damages.