When it comes to filing a personal injury lawsuit, the word “damages” come to mind. And to most people, this word means monetary compensation. Not all personal injury cases are equal, though. Some people receive more money in damages than others, while some are not awarded any at all. Each one is dealt with on a case to case basis.
The law, however, classifies damages into many sub categories. Sometimes an injured party gets several types of damages while others don’t.
The first, and perhaps most common and broadest type of damages, are compensatory damages. As the name suggests, it’s paid by the negligent party as reimbursement for whatever costs that have been paid or are needed to be paid to repair for any losses on the part of the claimant. In a personal injury case, this usually includes the following:
- Medical expenses (i.e. hospitalization, medication, etc.) for anything related to the injury.
- Property damages, may be awarded for home, vehicle, etc.
- Loss of income, which is based on any amount an injured worker would have earned were it not for the injury. The injury doesn’t have to be work-related.
There is also such a thing as moral damages. It’s not intended as a form of actual compensation but rather as means to help alleviate pain and suffering or mental anguish the victim suffered. This includes moral suffering like embarrassment, sleepless nights, anxiety and even post-traumatic stress disorder.
Finally, there are punitive damages, which are awarded more as a form of punishment for the defendant’s negligence. Its purpose is to teach the defendant a lesson to be more careful next time.
These, of course, are granted on the basis of evidence as presented by the attending South Bend personal injury lawyers. It is important to note that some states have caps on punitive damages, which can make the worth of a personal injury case vary.