After a serious accident, you might be wondering, “What is my personal injury claim worth?” This is not an easy question to answer. Many factors may affect how much your claim is worth. However, the value of your personal injury claim directly relates to the “damages” you have suffered. Below, our San Jose personal injury lawyers explain common damages in a personal injury case.
What Are Compensatory Damages in a Personal Injury Case?
Compensatory damages intend to compensate the injury victim for damages caused by the defendant. This means that the court must put a dollar amount on all of the damages suffered in a personal injury accident. Some compensatory damages are simple to calculate. For example, reimbursement for medical bills and property damage is quantifiable. On the other hand, it is difficult to place a monetary value on pain and suffering and other non-monetary damages.
Common Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit
There are many types of damages that may be awarded in a personal injury lawsuit. Examples of common damages include:
Medical Bills. Damages most often include the cost of medical services provided to the injury victim as a result of the accident. Serious accidents can result in debilitating injuries. This calculation includes bills for past and present medical services. It also includes compensation for future medical services needed.
Past and Future Earnings. This includes compensation for the impact that the personal injury had on an individual’s wages and salary. It is not limited to income already lost. It also includes the money an individual would have been able to make in the future, if the accident had never occurred.
Property Damage or Loss. This includes damages for personal property that was damaged in the accident. Examples may include vehicle damage, electronics and other personal property. The injury victim may be able to recover the cost of repairs or an award of the fair market value of the property.
Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering damages encompass pain and discomfort that the victim experienced during the accident. It may also include ongoing pain and suffering in the accident’s aftermath.
Emotional distress. Emotional distress damages compensate a personal injury victim for the psychological impact associated with the injury. Emotional distress damages may include fear, anxiety and sleep loss.
Loss of enjoyment of life. When a personal injury accident interferes with your enjoyment of things like hobbies, exercise, sports and other recreational activities, you might be entitled to recover loss of enjoyment of life damages.
Loss of consortium. Loss of consortium damages generally relate to the impact the personal injury has on the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse. In some cases, loss of consortium damages are awarded to the affected family member in addition to the injured plaintiff. These damages may also relate to wrongful death claims.
How Much Is My Personal Injury Case Worth?
When calculating damages, the court will look at what the personal injury cost you financially, physically and emotionally. In rare cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Punitive damages punish the defendant when very negligent behavior contributed to the accident. An example of this negligent behavior includes drunk driving accidents. These damages serve as a deterrent of future repeated conduct.
The parties to the lawsuit can negotiate a settlement or the judge or jury will order an award of damages at the end of a trial. The knowledgeable and experienced San Jose personal injury attorneys at Needham Kepner & Fish LLP can assess your case and provide you with an idea of what damages you may be entitled to recover.
Contact Needham Kepner & Fish LLP About Your Personal injury Case
After a serious accident, it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury lawyer about your potential legal options. Costs associated with your injury, including medical bills and lost wages, quickly add up. Our San Jose personal injury lawyers may be able to help you recover compensation for damages. Call us at (408) 956-6949 or contact us online and we will be in touch with you soon.