Personal Injury Lawyer
Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
Dealing with any type of injury or illness can sideline anyone. When the damage to the body results from someone else’s careless behavior, it may result in long-term and life-altering injuries. Car accidents are the leading cause of personal injury lawsuits, and rightfully so. Crashes can range from minor to something called catastrophic. The latter may result in permanent injuries that greatly reduce the victim’s quality of life. One way to help deal with mounting medical bills and lost income is by recovering money from the person responsible. Personal injury cases may result in financial awards known as damages.
Special Compensatory Damages
Getting hurt costs money. In some cases, the medical treatment is ongoing and results in long-term care costs. When a court hears the case, it also gets an account of the money expended by the victim for these treatment costs. Lost income is also calculated, and if the damage to the body is severe, then future lost wages are included. If the court finds the responsible party negligent, it is most likely to award special compensatory damages. All actual money spent and lost on the injury is reimbursed to the victim.
There is more to an injury than the tangible cost of treatment. The psychological and emotional toll it can take on a victim is substantial. Compensatory damages are awarded when the court considers the suffering and pain the injury has caused the victim and their family. The dollar amount is discretionary since there is no concrete cost. The court will usually only order compensatory damages in cases of harsher, more damaging injuries.
The final category of financial awards is completely in the hands of the judge. The victim cannot request punitive damages. The court hands them down in the most catastrophic circumstances. The amount is typically excessive and meant to send a message to the responsible party that their actions were particularly negligent. Since personal injury is a civil action, the at-fault party cannot face punishment in terms of jail. When a court gives a victim punitive damages, it is meant to punish the negligent party financially.
At the end of the day, the victim of an accident must be cared for. The family may not be able to handle it without the financial assistance of the person held accountable for the act. A personal injury lawyer in Harrisonburg, VA from a law firm like MartinWren, P.C., may be able to help you with your case.