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Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

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Summary: There are many different types of compensatory damages, but broadly speaking, they are broken down into general or special damages. Compensatory damages seek to reimburse or compensate an injured party for the harm they have suffered, and these kinds of damages are available in almost all injury cases — including auto accident, medical malpractice, and slip and fall cases.

Every year around 31 million people in the United States experience an injury that requires medical treatment. Many of these injuries result in personal injury cases. To ensure you are being compensated correctly for damages or to determine if your case would qualify as a personal injury it is important to be informed about the different types of damages.

But first, what is a personal injury?

Personal injury is defined as a bodily injury to one’s person. In the United States, there is a personal injury law (also referred to as a tort) that allows you to seek legal action if you experience any injury due to negligence.

About 52 percent of personal injury cases are a result of car accidents. Other common personal injury cases include slip and fall, dog bites, pedestrian accidents as well as bicycle accidents.

What are the types of damages?

When you file a personal injury claim, you are usually seeking some form of compensatory damages to reimburse you for any injuries you have suffered. While many different types of compensatory damages exist under the common law, they are typically categorized as special damages and general damages.

Special damages reimburse the plaintiff (the person affected by the personal injury and filing the claim) for any measurable monetary loss the event caused them. These losses can include repair costs for damaged property, loss of wages either in the present or future as well as medical expenses. For a damage to fall under the special classification, it must be tangible.

On the other hand, general damages seek reimbursement for intangible losses. These damages are sometimes referred to as reimbursement for “pain, suffering, and loss.” General damages can be more challenging to identify than special damages because they are not as easily quantifiable or measurable. Some examples of these damages can include emotional suffering, loss of companionship, disfigurement, and more.

What are my legal rights if injured?

Not every situation where a person is injured results in establishing liability on the other party involved in the accident. This is why it is vital to seek the expertise of a personal injury lawyer if you been a victim of a personal injury. Your legal counsel will help you determine if there was negligence and make sure you receive adequate compensation for your pain and suffering. They have a vast amount of experience with litigation and will be able to help you determine the amount you deserve in compensation for general and/or special damages.

A personal injuries lawyer will also help you communicate with the medical professionals assisting you as well as your insurance company to make sure your case is progressing. They will be there to assist you with any paperwork or documents you need to complete so you can focus on recovering from your injury.

If you have any questions about compensatory damages or a personal injury case, contact Elsner Law Firm.  We understand the ins and outs of personal injury cases and are here to help you navigate your way through the process.

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