If you are starting to undertake a personal injury case, you probably have a lot of questions. One of the first questions most people have is what they can actually claim in the lawsuit. It is obvious that some expenses are viable, such as medical bills, but you may not be as confident that you can claim some of the other expenses associated with your injury. This guide will go over the basics, but remember that you should always speak with a personal injury lawyer to get more detailed information that is specific to your case and state.
Becoming Whole Again
The purpose of personal injury cases is to make the injured party whole again. In other words, if your personal injury case is successful, you should be returned to the financial state you were in before the injury. This means that nearly anything can be claimed in the case, including things that have and do not have a set monetary value. This is the primary distinction between the two main categories of damages: Special compensatory damages and general compensatory damages.
Special and General Compensatory Damages
All the expenses that have an objective monetary value fall under the special compensatory damages category. This can be just about anything, but in nearly all cases, all the special compensatory damages include only:
- Medical bills
- Damage to property
- Out-of-pocket expenses
- Lost Wages
If you have suffered a monetary loss that does not fall into one of these four categories, it likely can still be claimed. These are just the typical types of damages. Personal injury cases compensator for non-monetary losses to. This is where general compensatory damages come in. The judge will determine what the monetary value of these types of losses is. General compensatory damages typically include:
- Physical pain or suffering
- Emotional trauma
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of ability
A personal injury case may also include punitive damages in rare cases, although this is not an expense that you claim. At the discretion of the judge, the defendant may owe you punitive damages as a form of punishment. These types of damages are reserved for malicious actions, such as intentional attacks, or especially irresponsible behavior, such as driving drunk. If your injury was the result of an accident, it likely will not warrant punitive damages. A personal injury lawyer will be able to give your more information that pertains to your unique lawsuit. It is always a good idea to speak with a legal professional.