Several personal injury compensation types are available to victims of a car accident, slip and falls, dog bites, and other forms of physical injury. Even if you’ve commenced the claims process with the fault party’s insurer or filed a personal injury lawsuit, you need to know what you’re entitled to. Having a thorough knowledge would let you know what you and your personal injury attorney should fight for.
In this article, we would examine the personal injury compensation types and their usefulness. It’s best to commence a personal injury action with an attorney at Calvin Smith Law. Our personal injury lawyers have experience securing the different types of personal injury compensation for our clients.
What Is a Personal Injury?
A personal injury is an area of civil law that covers physical injuries. They also cover emotional traumas suffered by the victim in an accident. If the victim dies, the case goes from being a personal injury claim to a wrongful death claim.
Suppose an accident victim survives but dies after commencing a personal injury claim. In that instance, their family can bring a wrongful death action as long as they can prove the accident injuries led to the act. Thus, a personal injury case can transition into a wrongful death action.
In essence, personal injury covers:
- Actual bodily harm
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
Actual bodily harm involves injuries like broken bones, fractures, spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, etc. Proving these wounds is not difficult. Often, your accident attorney would request medical bills and records from your treating physician.
If you had a cast, wore a neck brace, or underwent physical therapy, the records will show that. This way, your attorney would be able to know the extent of your wound and the amount spent. Pain and suffering are trickier to prove.
Attorneys encourage clients to work with mental health professionals to document their pain and suffering. If there was an activity you enjoyed before the accident, but can’t anymore because of the injury, include it. It would all go into proving how much you suffered.
Emotional distress is also hard to prove and difficult to pursue. It can be construed as negligently or intentionally conflicted. Also, it covers a whole range of injuries from defamation to threats of physical harm.
What Personal Injury Compensation Can You Get?
In a personal injury action, a plaintiff is entitled to three types of compensation. However, the strength of their case determines if they’ll get to take all or one. It means that your personal injury lawyer must prove why you should get two or three of the types of personal injury compensation.
Below is the list of the compensation you can expect.
Special Compensatory Damages
Almost all personal injury cases get the victim compensatory damages. This is because calculating the damages is easy as they cover the amounts the victim spent treating their wound. It also covers any financial losses incurred because of the accident.
This compensation covers:
- Past and future medical expenses (bills and receipts of hospital stay, pain medications, physical therapy, etc.)
- Property damage (expenses associated with repair and replacement)
- Lost wages and loss of earning capacity (It counts from the moment the injury stops you from working until the trial date, any future wage loss)
- Loss of irreplaceable items (like a family heirloom)
- Expenses associated with canceled or altered trips
General Compensatory Damages
While special compensatory damages are quantifiable, general compensatory damages aren’t. This is because they apply to intangible things that have to do with feelings and the overall wellbeing of the victim. This personal injury compensation type covers:
- Pain and suffering (long-term physical pain from the injury or treatment)
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Lower quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Physical disfigurement and impairment
- Loss of companionship (mostly in wrongful death actions)
Punitive damages are not meant to compensate you for losses. Rather, it is intended to punish the fault party. If the court believes the compensatory damages do not sufficiently deter the responsible party, they will award punitive damages. The rationale is that the person would desist from such acts in the future. Also, the person must have acted with gross negligence or maliciousness for the court to award this personal injury compensation.
Get Help From Calvin Smith Law Personal Injury Attorneys!
Getting a personal injury lawyer may not be compulsory, but it is a necessity. You need one to prove your case, especially if you plan to ask for general compensatory damages and punitive damages. Our lawyers at Calvin Smith Law are willing and ready to help you with this. Contact us today for a free case review.