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What are compensatory damages in a personal injury case?

Accidents happen. As tired of a phrase as that is, it is in fact accurate. From a car accident or injury like slip and fall, any accident can pop and change your life forever. That is why the law may compensate a victim and damages are awarded to the plaintiff in certain instances.

When we talk about damages, we normally mean compensatory damages (economic damages and non economic or special damages aka non monetary damages) and punitive damages for all the types of personal injury you may imagine: pain and suffering; emotional distress, medical expenses for medical care, lost wages, loss of enjoyment of life, physical pain, and other expenses that may be awarded for injuries to the victim.

These compensation damages from court are meant to compensate the injured and attempt to restore them to life before the accident as are all kinds of damages. This is what we mean by compensatory damages in personal injury cases.

The personal injury attorneys of our law firm have a successful history of obtaining compensatory damages and punitive damages in personal injury cases.

The following sections will review the former in more detail. You can call us anytime to speak with a lawyer about accident law in more detail and what compensation a plaintiff may be awarded after an accident.

The Difference Between Compensatory Damages and Punitive Damages

In any accident, the defendant’s conduct may produce a whole variety of damages and harm you seek reimbursement for in an injury claim award. All court damages are meant to rehabilitate the plaintiff to the position just prior to the accident.

There are two main types of personal injury damages from a personal injury case including compensatory damages and punitive damages in an injury claim and subsequent damage award. The latter are meant to punish the defendant for outrageous conduct.

Compensatory damages compensate a person for the personal injury and costs of an accident.

They normally cover things like loss of consortium, emotional distress, bodily injury, pain and suffering, medical expenses for medical care, lost wages, property damage, medical bills, and other things. Think of the out-of-pocket expenses, harm, and trauma mainly in this category.

Personal injury attorneys can help you get compensation. A lawyer from our law firm, the Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC, can review your case and see what award you get may from the defendant’s conduct.

There may be special compensation damages (special damages) and general compensation damages (general damages) for your personal injury if you get injured, even punitive damages.

You will not know what damages may be available until you talk to a lawyer or group of attorneys. We look forward to hearing from you.

Calculating What Compensatory General Damages May be Awarded to the Plaintiff

A general compensatory damages award for personal injury is a more simple calculation for a plaintiff after an accident than one for a punitive damage award. The amount awarded normally is directly related to their injury. This includes special damages compensation (special compensatory damages) and general damages compensatory.

The defendant will be on the hook to the plaintiff for the sum total of their tangible and intangible injuries. Therefore, the injured should carefully total their expenses with their lawyer or attorneys to get the first number.

Then, for intangible harm, you can typically multiply your tangible losses by two or three to get this second number. Finally, add the two figures together.

Punitive damages is a separate conversation. This should help you understand a compensatory and punitive compensation award in the personal injury context but feel free to speak to a lawyer from our office if you have more questions.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Protect Your Compensation

Experienced attorneys can skillfully bring an action for your injuries and that award may mean more punitive damages or compensatory damages from the defendant. Here are a few things our law firm does on behalf of clients to make sure their injury is accounted for in court to the maximum extent possible:

Chart the health consequences against your health background to get a sense of the nature of the harm that followed the incident.

  • Calculate all out-of-pocket expenses from the accident.
  • Identify any property damage or personal property loss or destruction.
  • Speak with your employer about lost income.
  • Speak with friends and family regarding how the injuries affected your life.

These are just some of the ways that we can assist the injured get damages compensation compensatory and other otherwise. If you are the victim of another’s negligence or intentional misconduct, contact our offices.

Personal Injury Cases With Compensatory Awards

We have summarized some cases below to give you a sense of what damages include for the injured.

$500,000 Car Accident Jury Award; 2002:

The plaintiff, a pregnant woman in her late thirties, was being driven to work by her husband when the defendant’s motor vehicle sideswiped them. She herniated a disc (L5) and sustained other injuries to her back, arm, and neck.

Also, the woman alleged that the other motorist’s negligence aggravated pre-existed injuries. The defendant denied this charges and liability for the event entirely.

The two sides went to trial and the jury found for the woman. Her damages compensatory award was $500,000 for her suffering and pain ($300,000), disability ($170,000), aggravation ($20,000), and medical expenses ($10,000).

$80,771 Truck Accident Jury Award 2013:

Here, a young woman was stopped at a right light, waiting for the light to turn, when another vehicle came screeching behind her. In fact, it was a large truck and it could not stop in time to avoid a collision. It rear-ended her sending her car into the middle of the intersection and wounding her in the process.

She suffered a concussion as well as a neck and brain strain. She sued the truck driver and the driver’s employer arguing that the latter was vicariously responsible under the theory of respondent superior. However, her claim against the company went nowhere because the truck driver was not even working that day.

He was just driving around for personal reasons. She was successful against him personally though. The truck driver did not even contest liability. He only denied the amount of damages that she asked for in her complaint. A jury found that an appropriate amount for the crash and her negligence injuries was $80,771 compensatory.

$1,533,709 Premises Liability Jury Award; 2019:

This tragic event took place at a bar in Rockford in 2011. A man in his late fifties went outside to smoke when another customer attacked him. He suffered a traumatic brain injury due to the incident and subsequently died. Lawyers for the man’s estate brought this negligence and wrongful death action against the establishment.

They argued that the bar had premises liability and should have protected him against these dangers which they knew about. The defendant denied knowing that this mortal attack was transpiring and affirmed that they made all reasonable efforts to guarantee the safety of their patrons.

The judge was not impressed with their arguments. He found for the plaintiffs for more than $1.5 million compensatory which included roughly $500,000 for medical expenses.

Talk to a Personal Injury Lawyer Right Now

If you are are wondering how much or what types of compensatory damages you may obtain in personal injury case, contact Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC today. Our law firm has extensive experience retrieving general compensatory damages and even punitive damages for clients.

General damages (even special compensatory damages) can help plaintiffs and injury victims get compensation to pay down the costs and pain of the mental anguish, physical injury, medical bills, loss of consortium, emotional distress, pain and suffering, physical therapy, and other forms of monetary types of damages awarded under the law. Our attorneys are here to help.

Contact us for a free consultation. We bring cases on contingency so you do not have to worry about putting down a dime until we win for you in court or settlement. Find out today what actual damages you can get.