Types of Damages: Compensatory vs. Punitive
Personal injury cases are usually brought to court in instances when the injured is unable to support themselves due to unreasonable damages. Most people filing a case as an injured victim want to know the bottom line: how much is my case actually worth? In order to determine the damages you incurred during the accident, you must prove how you suffered financially, physically and/or mentally. Monetary compensation is delegated appropriately based on two damage classifications: compensatory or punitive.
Most personal injury cases reward the injured party “compensatory” damages that cover excessive expenses due to the accident. The goal is to make the injured “whole again,” or in other words, bring you back to the same financial, mental and physical state you were in prior to the injuries.
Here’s a breakdown of how you can be compensated depending on the injuries you incur.
This is a fairly obvious payment considering most people bring these cases to court due to outrageous medical bills from hospitalization. In most cases, the injured is compensated for previous and future medical attention needed to cure the injuries from the accident.
In severe personal injury cases, the victim may be out of work for several days, weeks or months in recovery. The loss of income for that time is covered. Additionally, if you have damages that permanently keep you from pursuing your career, future income or wages will be compensated. For example, if you were injured in a work-related accident that permanently injured your back, you would not longer be able to perform physical labor (your lifelong trade), and therefore would be eligible for compensation.
Usually covered by insurance, the property lost in an accident will be compensated for at “fair market value.” In the case that your insurance company does not properly compensate you, a personal injury attorney can represent you and fight for your monetary needs.
Pain and Suffering
Although tough to prove, it is possible to receive monetary compensation for extreme pain and suffering immediately after the accident and for a “reasonable” future time period.
After Extreme trauma, victims sometimes incur long-lasting psychological damages that hinder their everyday functionality. In this case, you may qualify for medical injuries as well as emotional distress if you can prove that your daily life has a legitimate negative impact directly caused by the accident.
Loss of Consortium
If your spouse or significant other is severely or permanently injured due to an accident, you can receive loss of consortium damages. This means that your spouse is no longer able to provide spousal love, support, sexual or even monetary needs that relationships require. If you can prove that a necessary aspect of the relationship that is essential and no longer available, the court will grant you damages accordingly.
If an injury happens due to complete and utter lack of duty of care and the offender was obnoxiously careless and negligent, the victim may receive an additional amount of damages. Although it is a reward for the injured party, the point is to re-iterate the disapproval of inappropriate behavior in such a manner. It is used by the court as a scare tactic to future offenders. Punitive damages are usually offered in cases against corporations that took advantage of consumers. They probably made blatant, easily preventable mistakes that severely injured people. In Texas, the law has capped punitive damages at $250,000 per offender up to $500,000.
If faced with a personal injury that is too much for you to cover monetarily, you may be eligible for compensatory or punitive damages. The attorneys at Colley & Colley law firm in East Texas provide the knowledge and expertise needed to win your case. Contact Colley & Colley today for a free consultation.