When injury victims visit injury attorneys after an accident in an effort to seek compensation, they may have only a very basic idea of the types of settlements and awards that could apply to their situations. One of the important things that legal professionals do for their clients is to lay out all of an individual’s rights under the law and explain how and why settlements may be generated.
Compensatory and Punitive Damages
Two general types of awards apply to specific kinds of injury situations. The first one is compensatory damages. These types of awards are most commonly pursued in injury cases. Compensatory damages are meant to cover not only the medical bills involved in recovery, but also the changes to someone’s health and mobility in daily function, as well as lost wages and other financial consequences of the accident. Amounts for “pain and suffering” are also considered when moving forward with a personal injury claim and are generally based on the type of case involved and the status of the claimant.
Punitive damages are awarded not so much for the victim as for the common good. Punitive damages are sought in order to deter the responsible parties from repeating the same mistakes that led to someone else’s harm. Courts will impose such damages in cases where negligence seems evident and where courts feel there’s a value to incentivizing the party to act against future liability.
For example, if there was a pattern of negligence at a business where slick or uneven surfaces were a problem for years, and a judge sees an injury case related to this, the court may feel that there’s a benefit to adding punitive damages.
Making Things Clear for Injury Victims
Personal injury lawyers will often focus more on compensatory damages. They will separate out each element of compensatory damages, such as pain and suffering and medical expenses, and go over each one, explaining how it relates to a person’s particular case. These lawyers help their clients avoid taking excessively low initial offers from insurance companies. They also help them get timely, qualified and impartial medical evaluations to document and prove the extent of their injuries.
Throughout the process, they will help clients build a solid personal injury case to show third-party responsibility and help clients get the best chance at collecting compensatory damages. And rest assured — in cases where punitive damages should apply, they will be sought.
Help From Virginia Injury Lawyers
If you or a loved one was injured in the Albermarle county area, talk to the experienced injury lawyers at MartinWren, P.C. Our dedicated attorneys will listen to your story and help you look at your legal options. Let us help you access your rights under the law. Get qualified legal representation today.