Groups » Everything You Need to Know About Personal Injury Damages and Compensation

The plaintiff in a personal injury case must be compensated adequately. However, it is this compensation amount that creates maximum delay in the case. Out-of-court settlements are common, but the insurance company often initially quotes an amount, that is unacceptable to the plaintiff.

While the insurance company never really reveals the methodology it uses to arrive at the compensation amount, there are several factors that are taken into account to arrive at a conclusive figure.

In this post, we take a look at the different types of compensation you are entitled to as a personal injury victim,and the factors that are taken into account by the insurance company to determine the compensation amount.

Types of Damages

When you suffer from an injury, property damage, or any other form of loss, you have the legal right to claim compensation from the entity responsible for the damages. The two categories of damages awarded compensatory and punitive.

Under compensatory damages, there is special compensatory damage and general compensatory damage.

For personal injury cases that border on intent rather than negligence, and have extensively damaging consequences, the plaintiff is awarded wrongful death damages, and punitive damages.

Special Compensatory Damages

These are the damages that are directly related to the monetary expenses you have incurred due to the injury. Compensatory amount for special damages include your medical bills, loss of earnings, loss of work days,future medical expenses, household expenses and all other monetary losses that have risen because of the personal injury.

Compensatory damages should make the victim whole for expenses. In other words, special compensatory damages should cover all monetary costs incurred by the victim due to the personal injury. There is no limit to the amount that the injured party can claim.

Special damages differ according to the extent of the injury and the condition of the injured. The amount you receive as special compensatory damage will also depend largely on the skills and expertise of your legal consultant.

General Compensatory Damages

General compensatory damages refer to the non-monetary damages in a personal injury case. All victims undergo certain general damages in a personal injury case. The extent of these damages differ from individual to individual. They refer to the mental anguish, the pain and suffering, and loss of support. Moreover, a personal injury case also leads to a lowering of the quality of life. If there is permanent physical impairment, you stand to receive higher damages.

Wrongful Death Damages

Inflicting death is absolutely unforgivable. Death equals permanent loss of consortium and companionship. The damages are extensive and though compensation cannot alleviate the grief of loosing someone dear, a wrongful death claim must provide for the surviving family members. Wrongful death claims include funeral expenses,and pre-death medical care.

If the deceased was the primary bread earner, the wrongful death damages will also include the future earnings he would contribute to the family. Loss of support and services, along with the grief, and emotional turmoil suffered by family members and loved ones must also be calculated while ascertaining claims.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rarely awarded and serve a completely different purpose. Punitive damages are seen more as a penalty rather than compensation. However, as the plaintiff you will be the one, getting the damage amount.

Punitive damages is usually awarded when there is gross negligence, intentional misconduct, and malice involved. While negligence implies acting unreasonably, gross negligence involves complete recklessness and apathy towards another’s life and rights.

The objective of punitive damages is to deter such wrongful conduct. It is a measure to prevent the individual or institution from further indulging in such actions that cause much harm and pain to others. It is also a way to warn other people from acting in a similar manner.

How to Receive Proper Compensation in a Personal Injury Case?

From finding out what your case is worth to assessing claims, to negotiating, and if needed aggressive fighting with insurance companies, it is an uphill climb to receive justice and appropriate compensation in a personal injury case. You will need the help of an attorney, in this procedure. Self-representation often falls short and may lead to getting a meager or no compensation at all.

Expert personal injury lawyer from Daytona Beach educates why legal consultation is a must in personal injury cases, “Personal injury cases requires extensive investigation and monitoring. Every detail of the accident must be documented and presented as evidence. When the injured opts for prose litigation, he often feels overwhelmed with the amount of documentation and legalities, and is emotionally too attached to the case. Higher settlements happen when there is aggressive and focused litigation from the injured party’s side, and this purpose is met best by an attorney who empathizes with his client, but is also detached emotionally, enough to handle the case adeptly.”

Apart from a better result and higher settlement, an attorney can also guide you on other important aspects like opting for a lump-sum damage award or a structured settlement. In structured settlements, the monetary compensation is disbursed to the victim at regular intervals over a period of time. This results in reduced federal and state income taxes, and more chances of a higher recovery, as the defendant does not have to pay up the entire damage amount upfront. However, every case is different, and it is advisable that you consult your attorney before taking any action.

Opting for Legal Consultation on a Contingency Basis

Among other things, you should also keep in mind to consult a personal injury attorney who works on a contingency fee condition. This implies that you will not have to shell out large sums of money for legal representation till you have not won the case and got a fair settlement. If you face a personal injury case, set up appointments with few attorneys. Most attorneys offer free first consultation. Pick the right attorney who understands your situation, is an expert in his field, and will fight aggressively to get you the best possible damage compensation.

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