A lot of people wonders about what is the worth of their case when starting a personal injury lawsuit after experiencing some slip, fall or any kind of accident. “Damages” that have been done to a client are the true answer. Physical, mental and monetary cost of these injuries must be figured out. The complainant is paid for done damages by the company or the person who is found to be guilty and legally responsible for the accident. This award is usually agreed by negotiated settlement between the parties, insurance companies and their attorneys, but there are also cases where it is ordered by jury or a judge on a court.
These damages are meant to compensate the injured complainant for what he or she lost due to injury or accident that happened. The goal is to make the injured party whole again if possible from monetary side which means putting a price number on the consequences.
Some are pretty easy to define while some can get really complex on a trial. There are some of the common ones like medical treatment, property loss, pain and suffering, income, emotional distress, loss of consortium and loss of enjoyment. These are divided in two groups, general and special damages. General damages compensate for emotional distress and pain and suffering while special damages are economic ones. Special damages can be measured by direct economic loss like medical expenses, property damage or loss of earnings.
These are more severe as they are meant to punish the defendant for the reckless behavior or the negligence that cause injury to complainant. These are actually as a warning to the defendant and the others to show that this kind of behavior will be punished in every similar case. It is not unusual that these punishments reach millions of dollars so many states have set up a limit on a punitive damage awards. In any way the goal of these damages is to punish defendant for its conduct.
Complainant actions affect damages
This is a very serious and complex side of a trial where it is necessary to define if injured person had a role in causing an accident. This significantly affects the amount of damage compensation available for a personal injury in the case.
There is approach of comparative negligence where two types of negligence may be defined. A pure and modified comparative negligence. In both cases each party’s negligence is weighed for a given injury but in the first one damages are reduced for complainant’s contribution in injury while in the other complainant doesn’t get any damage if there is a result of more than 50% of his/her contribution in injury.
There is also approach of contributory negligence which is used to show that individual has a duty to act as a reasonable person. If the injury occurs while the complainant was partially or entirely responsible for it even though there was another party involved there is possibility to a contributory negligence counterclaim. This usually results by reducing or even totally barring the complainant from recovering damages.