Types of Compensation in Personal Injury Lawsuits
February 6, 2020
Healthcare spending takes up a huge chunk of the average American’s budget. When you suffer an unexpected injury or illness, then there’s a lot of unexpected financial costs you’ll have to deal with. On top of these bills, you might not be able to return to work right away.
What should you do when your accident or injury was caused by someone else’s negligence? If someone else was negligent, then it may be possible to get financially reimbursed by seeking out a personal injury lawsuit. There are three main types of compensation you can seek out in these types of lawsuits. We’ll get into each one in-depth below.
Compensatory damages describe the monetary losses you suffered as a result of the accident and injury. This type of compensation is designed to restore you to the same financial status you were prior to the incident.
Monetary compensatory damages are often straight-forward to calculate. They include things like:
- Medical bills
- Lost income
- Prescription costs
- Property damage
In order to determine the value of your claim’s compensatory damages, simply add up the total value of all your losses.
Things are more complicated when you’re attempting to determine the value of future medical expenses or future lost wages. If you’re facing this type of scenario, then it’s advised you seek out the advice of an experienced personal injury lawyer. They’ll help you calculate the value of these types of losses.
When it comes to damages, it’s important to identify how your own actions may have come into play regarding who is more responsible for the accident. This is known as comparative negligence. The theory of comparative negligence states that damages the plaintiff might seek may be reduced as a result of their percentage of fault for the accident. An example of this may be if someone was looking down at their phone while driving and struck another driver who was speeding. While the injured party may seek to file a lawsuit from the other driver who was distracted, his or her reward may be reduced since their speeding helped contribute to the accident.
General damages are still intended to reimburse you financially for the losses you endured due to the accident. They differ from compensatory damages, though, because these types of losses are non-economic. Here are a few examples of general damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional damages
- Loss of consortium
Calculating the value of these non-economic damages is often more complex and subjective and benefits from the knowledge of an experienced attorney.
Unlike compensatory and general damages, compensation awards for punitive damages aren’t meant to reimburse the injured person. Instead, they’re designed to punish the negligent party. Often, courtrooms decide to award punitive damages when the liable party’s carelessness was extreme. Punitive damages are awarded in an attempt to discourage the responsible party from acting the same way in the future.
Contact a Pittsburgh Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Personal Injury Case in Pennsylvania
Did you or a loved one sustain serious injuries in Pennsylvania? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Goodrich & Geist, P.C., represent clients injured in Pittsburgh and Western PA counties. Call 412-564-4770 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 3634 California Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15212.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.