Whenever you are involved in an accident that causes you physical harm, you retain the right to sue the responsible party for damages. Often, personal injury cases are determined based on negligence, and the earlier you prove this, the better for your case. However, proving that another party was negligent in his or her actions is not an easy walk in the park. You need to collect, prepare, and present various pieces of evidence to this effect. But given your injured state during and after the accident, in addition to your unfamiliarity with the legal process, you may not be able to effectively present your personal injury claims.
For this reason, it’s advisable that you retain the legal services of a seasoned and dedicated personal injury attorney. Doing so enables you to focus on seeking treatment for your injuries stress-free. Remember, there is a statute of limitations that govern the timeframe within which a claim must be filed. If this time lapses, you may have no legal authority to pursue damages in a Pearland personal injury case regardless of whether the other party was at-fault or not. To avoid such a scenario, always speak with an attorney immediately after you are involved in an accident.
Damages refer to the dollar amount or value of settlement offered to the plaintiff (injured party) when the defendant breaches the duty of care towards them, resulting in injuries or losses. Typically, there are two major types of damages available in any personal injury case. They are compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages, as the name suggests, are meant to help the plaintiff recover the losses incurred from property damages or injuries. This type of compensation is further divided into two major categories namely economic and non-economic damages, with each representing subcategories of recoverable losses from an accident.
Often referred to as special damages, economic damages are losses suffered by the plaintiff and to which a monetary value can be attached. Regardless of whether you have insurance or worker’s compensation, this type of damage seeks to help you get back on your feet economically. Some of the injuries suffered in an accident can lock you out of work for weeks, months, or in worst cases, permanently. This leaves you dependent on your family and friends for basic needs. Economic damages come in handy especially when you incur out-of-pocket expenses for harm caused.
Common economic damages that you may recover with the help of an injury lawyer include:
Compensation for lost wages takes into account the number of days you missed work due to your injuries. Your employer may provide your attorney with this information, as it is critical to maximizing your settlement. Any form of work contract between you and your employer before the accident must also be considered. For example, if you were in a 10-year job contract worth $100,000 per year, but the injuries make you incapacitated to perform your part of the contract, the negligent defendant may be compelled to also compensate you for this loss.
Non-economic damages may also be referred to as general damages. These are losses directly suffered by the plaintiff, but to which no direct monetary value can be easily calculated. Normally, these losses have no point of reference such as receipts, unlike economic damages. However, the medical records may be used to help show these damages.
Non-economic damages include:
Proving such damages sometimes requires the input of expert witnesses such as medical professionals and psychiatrists. Your attorney may be able to bring them on board when seeking compensation in a Pearland accident case.
Unlike in economic and non-economic damages where settlements are meant to make you whole again after an accident, punitive damages are awarded by the jury to punish the defendant for their wrongdoing. Unfortunately, this type of damage is not available in every case. To be sure whether you qualify for a punitive damages award, please discuss this during your free case evaluation with your local personal injury attorney.
If you are filing a personal injury case for the first time, you may not understand how to go about it. Our lawyers are available and at your disposal at your convenience. To learn more about the damages in a Pearland personal injury case, contact our attorneys online or call our office today.