What types of damages are generally available in personal injury cases?
When you’re hurt because someone else acts in a negligent way, there are a number of different types of damages that you may be eligible to recover. Some of these damages compensate you for the actual, out of pocket losses that you have because of your injuries. Other damages compensate you for the emotional losses and physical pain that come along with your injuries.
Medical bills are likely your most obvious personal injury expense. You need to show what your medical bills are now and what they’re likely to be in the future. Your personal injury attorneys can help you work with medical experts to document your injuries and value the costs of current and future treatment. This can include physical therapy and other rehabilitative services.
Lost earning potential
When you’re hurt, you may be unable to stay in your job. You may not return to that job ever again, or it may take some time in order to get back to work. Wages or self-employment income that you lose because of your injuries are real damages that you can receive compensation for when you’re hurt because of someone else’s bad acts.
Pain and suffering
When you’re hurt, you don’t have the same capabilities that you had before. You may not have full use of all of your limbs. You may live in chronic pain. Pain and suffering damages exist to value these losses and compensate you for them. Living in pain is a real loss. While no amount of money can make you whole again, this compensation seeks to give you something for you losses.
Injuries may cause you fear. You may become anxious and depressed. This is called mental anguish. Emotional distress can be as damaging as physical injuries. It’s important to work with an personal injury lawyer to value this type of damages.
Loss of consortium
When your spouse suffers a personal injury, you may lose their companionship. This may include services, affection, financial support and sexual relations. These damages aren’t visible on the surface, but New York law allows you to recover for these real and devastating losses.
On top of your personal injuries, you may have property damage. If you’re hurt in a car accident, you likely have damage to your car. To seek this type of damages, you need to document that the damages occurred, and you also need to be able to place a value on the losses. This might include getting an estimate for repairs.
Punitive damages aren’t meant to serve as direct compensation for an injured victim. Rather, these types of damages are meant to punish a person or company for very bad actions that lead to injuries. For example, a company might make a vehicle that has a defect. They might continue to sell the vehicle even after they know the defect causes crashes.
The purpose of punitive damages is to punish bad actors and motivate others to act in a careful way. If manufacturers know that punitive damages are a possibility, they may take more care in order to make their products safe. This type of damages can compensate you as well as serve a public good to make products safer.
How much will I collect?
To collect damages for your personal injury, you need to bring a case in a New York court. Your filing documents need to contain pleadings that demand all of the types of damages that you may deserve under New York law. It’s also important to carefully prepare your case in order to make a complete accounting of your losses. Ultimately, the amount of your recovery may be up to a jury, or you may receive a fair settlement before trial.