We are often asked, “How much do you think my case is worth?”.  This article will help you understand the different types of compensation available if your injured and decide to file a personal injury lawsuit.

When evaluating the value of your accident / injury case, it all revolves around damages.  This is true whether it’s an automobile accident, motorcycle accident, slip & fall or other types of accidents that results in an injury.  The damages relate not just to your physical injuries, but also can be mental damages or loss of wages.

Common Personal Injury Terms To Understand:

Plaintiff – The injured person to whom monetary damages are paid to.
Defendant / Insurer – The person or company who is found responsible for the accident.
Damages – The affect of the injury on the plaintiff.
Damage Award – The monetary award paid to the plaintiff.  This could be a result of a negotiated settlement or the result of a trial or awarded by a judge.  Many factors beyond the actual incident can affect the size of the award, including actions or lack of certain actions by the plaintiff after the incident.  It’s always advisable to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer as soon after the accident as possible.

Common types of Damage Awards

  1. Compensatory Damages
  2. Punitive Damages (covered in Part 2)

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damage awards are simply intended to make the plaintiff “whole again” from a monetary standpoint.  The goal is to determine the monetary amount for all the consequences of the accident.   Examples of compensatory damages include:

  1. Medical Costs – This is common in most cases, and includes reimbursement for medical care already provided and expected future treatment.
  2. Property Damage – This is reimbursement for damaged property, including things such as vehicles and other items damaged as a result of the accident.
  3. Lost Wages – If you are unable to work, due to the injuries, this would include the wages you have lost. Also, if the injury is serious enough, it would include lost future earnings.
  4. Pain & Suffering / Emotional Distress – Damages to compensate for discomfort and physical pain as a result of the accident.  In more serious injuries you can be compensated for emotional distress, anxiety, and stress that is linked to the accident and your injuries.
  5. Loss of Enjoyment – Damages to compensate for a diminished ability to enjoy the day-to-day pleasures of life.
  6. Loss of consortium – Damages related to loss of sexual function or a severe strain on your marriage, often accompanied by counseling.