What Can You Get Compensated For in Personal Injury Claims?
What Exactly Can You Get Compensated for in a Personal Injury Claim?
A common question asked by many accident victims is “how much is my case worth?” The answer to this question depends on a number of factors. A monetary value of a personal injury lawsuit includes a combination of economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic type damages include lost wages and medical bills. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering and emotional distress. Following are an example of damages that may be recovered at a successful trial or settlement of your lawsuit.
Accident victims may be entitled to compensation for their medical bills arising from the medical care they received as a result of an accident. This includes but is not limited to any and all bills for visits to an emergency room, bills related to physical therapy sessions, bills for diagnostic tests, and the cost of medication and/or equipment an injured individual may utilize. If your injury was caused due to a motor vehicle accident you might also be entitled to No-Fault insurance coverage as well.
An accident victim may also be entitled to compensation for lost earnings and wages that they would have earned if they were not injured. These include wages not covered by No-Fault, Disability, or Workers’ Compensation benefits. An accident victim may receive compensation for past and future lost wages.
There are times that an individual that has been injured in an accident becomes incapacitated and as a result, must hire someone to care for them on a daily basis and/or maintain their household. In many cases, the cost of household services will be calculated in a settlement or jury award.
Pain and Suffering
The term “pain and suffering” is the legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused by an injury and refers to the compensation an injured party may receive for issues such as:
- Mental anguish and emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- The physical pain and suffering they experience as a result of the accident
- Permanent disability
This is a non-economic recovery and is arrived at by subjective analysis by a jury or during settlement negotiations. This is different from your loss of wages and cost of medical bills which can be calculated from records and documents.
The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant for causing the accident. Punitive damages are typically awarded where the defendant’s conduct was outrageous. For example, punitive damages are sometimes awarded when a defendant causes an auto accident while driving under the influence of alcohol. Punitive damages are rarely awarded at trial.
In New York State, an accident victim may pursue compensation from the negligent party that caused their injury. As you can see there are a number of factors that must be considered when determining the value of a personal injury case.
If you’d like an opinion on the value of your potential personal injury case, give us a call and we will gladly assist you.
What Are “Economic Damages” vs. “Non-Economic Damages”?
Personal injury accidents such as car crash accidents can result in catastrophic injuries that can physically, mentally, and emotionally incapacitate and traumatize victims.
Under personal injury tort law, when one is hurt by another’s wrongdoing, the victim may file a claim for damages against the liable party. Damages are legally defined as the amount of money awarded to compensate the injured party. There are two main categories of damages: economic and non-economic damages:
Economic damages are damages that can be calculated from documents or records and usually involve medical bills and expenses (past and future), loss of wages and earnings (past and future), future lost earning capacity and profits as well as damage to a person’s real and personal property, such as a damaged vehicle.
Non-Economic damages usually refer to “Pain and Suffering” which is the legal term for the physical and emotional stress caused by an injury. Physical pain, mental suffering, emotional distress, and loss of consortium (loss of spousal companionship and services) are some examples of Non-Economic damages.
Generally, economic damages are easier to prove because there are documents and records that can be calculated to determine the number of medical bills, lost earnings, and property damage. However, non-economic damages are subjective and require a different kind of analysis and proof to determine a monetary value since there are no specific records or documents that can be calculated as with economic damages.
One very difficult type of non-economic damage to prove involves a claim for emotional distress. There are several components of emotional distress that may be unquantifiable such as:
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain
In order not to add further stress or anxiety to personal injury victims, it is strongly advisable to acquire the services of an attorney who is well-versed in damages. A qualified personal injury attorney like the Law Offices of Stuart M Kerner P.C. will be able to vigorously fight on behalf of the injured party to ensure that they receive the recovery they are entitled to for both economic and non-economic damages.
About The Law Offices of Stuart M. Kerner
If you’ve been injured and want the best possible outcome in your situation, the Law Offices of Stuart Kerner P.C. in The Bronx can help you. Our firm has obtained favorable results for injury victims and their families throughout New York in personal injury cases such as auto accidents, oilfield accidents, traumatic brain injuries, and serious personal injuries.
Our law firm offers a free consultation to discuss your accident and review the legal remedies available to you. We’re available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about your case. Above all, you shouldn’t feel alone and isolated after an accident. If you’ve been hurt in an accident, we’ll come to you. Our attorney can travel to your home or hospital, at your request.