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Types of Compensation You Could Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Posted on behalf of Janet, Jenner & Suggs on Mar 08, 2017 in Personal Injury

scales of justiceIf your personal injury lawsuit is successful, you could recover various forms of compensation to help you manage the physical, financial and emotional damages caused by your severe injury.

This is the only way the legal system can help you deal with losses caused by your injury. Even though compensation does not return you to the position you were in before the accident, it can prevent the situation from turning into a financial catastrophe. This will help you move forward with your life.

There are two categories of damages for which you can receive compensation: special damages and general damages.

Special Damages

This covers a variety of documented monetary losses caused by your injury. There are four categories of special damages:

Medical Bills

This is often the largest portion of special damages. This covers the cost of all your medical treatment after the accident to the present day. In some cases, you may be able to obtain compensation for future medical expenses.

All the payments made by you or your insurance company related to the accident are compensable. However, if your insurance company paid the hospital or other health care provider, your health insurance company will receive a portion of the damages.

Common examples of medical expenses for which you can receive compensation include:

  • Ambulance fees
  • Hospital bills
  • Appointments with doctors and specialists
  • Lab tests
  • X-rays
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • Prescription medication
  • Surgery

Lost Wages

This covers all of the wages or earnings you lost because your injuries prevented you from working. The total wages you lost are added up starting from the date of your injury and continuing to the present day and the future.

You can verify your lost income by having your employer write a letter detailing your normal wages, the hours you missed and the total amount of compensation you lost because you could not work.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

This applies to any other expenses created by the accident or your injuries, including:

  • Medical equipment like wheelchairs, crutches or slings
  • Prescription medications
  • Over-the-counter medications
  • Parking fees incurred when traveling to doctor's appointments
  • Car rental expenses
  • Gas used to travel to doctor's appointments

Make sure to keep track of receipts for any purchases made after the accident so you can accurately document your out-of-pocket expenses.

Personal Property Damage

This often applies to car accidents in which the claimant's vehicle was damaged. This covers any monetary losses you suffered as a result of damage to your personal property, such as the cost of repairs or fair market value if your car was totaled.

You could also receive compensation for damage to other personal property, such as:

  • Computers
  • Cellphones
  • Jewelry

General Damages

General damages are not as easy to quantify because they are not tied to a specific monetary loss. They are designed to compensate you for emotional or physical losses, including:

Current and Future Pain and Suffering

Several factors will be considered to determine your level of pain and suffering, including present and future surgeries, the types of treatments you need, medications you are prescribed, and if you need to go through an intense recovery process in the future.

Emotional Distress

This includes anxiety, fear, nightmares, insomnia or depression. In order to obtain this form of compensation, you will need a report from a mental health professional with a diagnosis and prognosis to show the seriousness of your emotional distress.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life 

This means your loss of current or future enjoyment of things like hobbies, daily exercise, time with friends and other recreational activities. The amount of compensation you recover depends on your ability to convey the value of these activities and how they have been negatively affected by your injury.

Loss of Consortium

This is also called loss of companionship. It refers to the loss of emotional or physical intimacy because of a severe injury. You could also recover compensation for the pain from a divorce if you can show that the divorce was caused by the strain the injury put on your relationship. If you claim a loss of physical intimacy, you may need medical proof of sexual dysfunction or a statement from your spouse offering intimate details about your sex life.  

Punitive Damages

These are only available in cases where there was malicious or egregious behavior. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer instead of compensating you for losses. In fact, they are not tied to any specific loss related to your injury.

Personal injury losses can change your life, which is why compensation is so important. The personal injury lawyers at Janet, Jenner & Suggs understand this and we are prepared to fight for all of the compensation you deserve.

We offer a free, no obligation legal consultation and do not charge legal fees unless you receive the compensation you are entitled.

Call to set up a free consultation with Janet, Jenner & Suggs today. 1-877-692-3862

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