A person who suffers an injury resulting from the negligence or malicious actions of another party may claim compensation for damages. Compensation is reimbursement for the suffering and costs incurred by the injured party. Injury cases may include car accidents, slips and falls and medical malpractice.
Compensation for personal injury falls into four broad categories. Here is a look at the types of compensation available to plaintiffs in personal injury cases.
These types of damages are also known as special compensatory damages; they cover monetary expenses incurred by the plaintiff as a result of the injury or accident in question. Such expenses may include medical bills, loss of earning and any other associated losses. There is no limit to the variety of special compensatory damages that one can claim in a single case. However, every claim must directly relate to the injury.
General compensatory damages
General damages refer to intangible nonmonetary costs incurred by the plaintiff. They address the physical, emotional and mental harm sustained after an injury. Most personal injury cases have at least one form of general damages. Some of the common types of such damages include pain and suffering, emotional and mental anguish, social torture and loss of consortium.
Otherwise known as exemplary damages, these are damages aimed at punishing the defendant for outrageous misconduct or wrongful behavior. Punitive damages often seek to reform or deter the defendant and others from engaging in similar conduct. However, the plaintiff may still benefit from some of the punitive damages awarded.
Wrongful death damages
Wrongful death claims provide compensation to surviving relatives, family or loved ones when the victim of a wrongful act dies. According to the National Safety Council, accidents are a leading cause of death in the United States. This type of claim may include both monetary and general damages. Some of the common damages associated with a wrongful death case include the cost of pre-death medical care, funeral expenses, emotional distress and loss of financial or social support.
Once the court, judge or jury approves and awards compensation for claimed damages, the defendant should pay it. Sometimes, the plaintiff may have to follow up and ensure that the defendant pays the damages in full as ordered.