You've been injured in an accident and you are now looking to calculate the damages of a potential personal injury claim.
The first thing you should know is that there are many different types of damages. Broadly speaking, you can seek compensatory damages which cover harm that you may have suffered, as well as punitive damages which are sought to punish the person responsible for the injuries.
By reviewing the different types of damages, you can have some idea of how much your claim is worth and whether it is worth your time to pursue a lawsuit.
In most personal injury lawsuits, you will seek compensatory damages. This covers things like:
- Medical bills,
- Property damage,
- Lost wages,
- Pain and suffering,
- Psychological harm, and
- Loss of enjoyment and consortium.
Compensatory damages can be very difficult to calculate. While you can add up your medical bills, costs of physical therapy, and even any repair costs to damaged property, it can be extremely difficult to value psychological injuries and even future lost wages.
Many attorneys employ third-party experts to testify as to someone's injuries and how it affects work life and personal enjoyment. These experts can then try to place a dollar figure on something like not being able to walk without a cane or not being able to play baseball with your child.
In addition to compensatory damages, you will also often hear about punitive damages. Punitive damages are not given in every personal injury lawsuit, but are usually reserved for extremely egregious acts where the defendant deserves to be punished. Judges and juries have a lot of discretion to award punitive damages; however, in some cases the amount of the punitive damages can far exceed compensatory damages.
To figure out if you are entitled to punitive damages and also to quantify the compensatory damages that you have suffered, you may want to talk to a Philadelphia personal injury lawyer.