How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Differ In Damages?

How Do Personal Injury Lawsuits Differ In Damages?

Personal injury lawsuits are filed for medical malpractice, auto accidents, dog attacks, and a multitude of case types. The compensation the victims receive depends on what type of claim they are filing and if there are any caps on the damages. There are three basic types of monetary damages in these cases, including economic, non-economic or tort, and punitive damages. By reviewing how the damages differ, claimants learn what to expect in their cases.  

What Are Economic Damages?

Economic damages reflect all financial losses incurred by the victim in the personal injury claim. The financial losses include medical expenses, auto repair costs, property damage, and lost wages. Some courts may include the legal fees and court costs incurred by the claimant.

These losses are calculated according to invoices, estimates, and financial statements acquired by the attorney. Victims who are involved in an injury lawsuit get proper calculations for these losses by presenting records to their attorney. 

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic or tort damages aren’t based on exact records or invoices. The monetary damages are awarded to claimants for claims such as pain and suffering, mental anguish, the loss of companionship, the loss of financial support, or when the person sustains injuries that cause a permanent disability.

The judge reviews how the injuries affect the rest of the victim’s life. If the person is no longer able to support themselves financially because of their injuries, the judge may require non-economic damages to compensate the victim for their losses. Non-economic damages are also possible in a wrongful death lawsuit where a claimant lost a spouse or children become orphaned because of the event identified in the lawsuit.  

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages are a way to punish the defendant financially for their role in causing the plaintiff’s injuries. Judges may award punitive damages to a victim to make an example of the defendant and reduce the risk of another party engaging in the same event or behavior pattern.

The financial punishment may have additional conditions to punish the defendant once the victim’s case has been substantiated. The event that caused the injuries is often excessive or considered an act of malice when punitive damages are awarded. 

Do Claimants Get All Three Types of Damages in All Cases?

No, not all claimants who win their personal injury cases will receive all three types of monetary damages. Punitive damages are often used for cases such as medical malpractice or product liabilities where gross negligence has been established. Non-economic damages are not awarded in every case either.  

What You Should Know About Restitution

Restitution is not awarded in a personal injury case filed through civil court. If the victim was injured during the commission of a crime, the outcome of the criminal case determines if the victim receives restitution. The monetary damages are awarded to victims or their families through the criminal court as a form of punishment and to cover financial and non-economic losses incurred by the victim or their family.  

Personal injury lawsuits are started to collect compensation after another party caused the victim’s injuries. There are numerous case types managed under personal injury laws, and the case type could affect what type of monetary damages are awarded to the victims if they win. By reviewing the different types of monetary damages, victims learn what type of compensation they may receive in their own cases. 

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About the Author: Barry Lachey

Barry Lachey is a Professional Editor at Zobuz. Previously He has also worked for Moxly Sports and Network Resources "Joe Joe." he is a graduate of the Kings College at the University of Thames Valley London. You can reach Barry via email or by phone.