What is Covered in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

by tylercook on November 5, 2012

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A personal injury lawsuit involves physical, mental or financial injury that arises because of the negligence or malevolence of another person and there can often be a separate but concurrent criminal action. Common types of personal injury include auto accidents, medical malpractice, breach of contract and slip and fall accidents. When you suffer a personal injury, you may be able to file a lawsuit to attempt to receive compensation for your injuries. This compensation is referred to as damages.

Damages in a personal injury lawsuit can take many forms. Generally, they can be broken down into actual damages, speculative damages and general damages. The amount of money awarded for each type of damage will vary depending on the particular details of your case.

Actual Damages

Actual damages are the most obvious, and easy to determine. This includes costs accrued by the victim, loss or damage to property and lost wages. Costs to the victim include the costs associated with any medical bills accrued to treat the injury sustained in the accident. These costs are easy to calculate because there is ample proof of the exact sums involved. Loss of property is similarly simple to calculate. The value of the objects or property lost is awarded to you. Things like the cost of repairing or replacing a motor vehicle damaged in an auto accident fall under this category. The value can be determined by the insurance company of the defendant or by an outside expert hired to testify in the case. Actual damages also include the costs associated with missed work up to the time of the trial or settlement. This is calculated by determining how many days of work you were required to miss and how much money you would have made on those days.

Speculative Damages

Speculative damages include future medical bills and future missed work, depending on your injuries. If it is clear that you will require continued treatment for your injury and will continue to miss work because of it, you may be awarded compensation to make up for these future financial losses. These amounts are calculated in the same ways that the previous and current medical bills and lost wages damages are calculated, only projected out into the future for however long doctors agree you will continue to need care. Factors particular to your case, such as the amount of money you make and your age, will affect the amount of money you may be awarded for speculative damages.

General Damages

In addition to these concrete damages, subjective damages may also be awarded. These are often referred to as general damages. This includes things like pain, suffering and loss of amenity. Because these types of loss are difficult to quantify, the amounts awarded for them will vary greatly on a case-by-case basis.

Pain involves actual physical pain you suffered because of your injuries. It also includes mental pain and distress. If you were required to seek mental help after your injury, or if you began to suffer mental distress, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), after the event, you may also be eligible for damages because of pain.

Non-tangible losses also fall into the category of general damages. This includes loss of companionship or consortium, loss of reputation and loss of enjoyment of life. The things that can cause one person to experience a loss of enjoyment of life may not affect another in the same way, so this type of damage is, again, highly dependent on the victim’s particular situation.

About the author

This article was written by Ty Whitworth for the team at disabilitydenials.com; they can assist interested persons with long term disability denial issues and concerns.




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