If you have been injured due to someone else’s negligence, you as the plaintiff can file a claim for damages in personal injury cases. Whether you were injured in a slip and fall, a car accident, or a medical malpractice case, it’s important to hold the negligent party accountable.
In a personal injury liability claim, the term “damages” refers to what is owed to the victim of an accident by the party responsible for causing those losses. The primary categories for recoverable damages in an injury claim are special damages, general damages, punitive damages, and attorney’s fees.
To collect the highest compensation, hire a personal injury lawyer with a wealth of experience taking on insurance companies. A trial-tested personal injury lawyer from Scholle Law is just a telephone call away. Call today for a free consultation.
What damages can I recover in a personal injury case?
The types of damages that may be available for your case will depend on the circumstances of your injuries, so it is important to talk to an attorney.
Even minor injuries, such as lacerations and contusions, could give rise to a claim for damages. Find out what kind you can pursue below.
Special damages are provable out-of-pocket expenses, bills and charges and typically involve lost wages, medical expenses, and quantifiable future expenses. These are sometimes referred to as economic damages since they relate to monetary expenses incurred due to the injury.
An award of special damages should entirely reimburse the Plaintiff for their financial losses. This includes any future treatment and future lost income which they may need to pursue after the litigation is finalized.
There is no limit to the amount that can be pursued for special damages. Since the costs of medical care and rehabilitation can be extremely high, so are the special damages that you can be awarded.
Some types of special damages you may be able to recover are:
- Medical expenses and other expenses relating to your treatment and recovery
- Loss of earnings while in recovery and treatment
- Potential loss of future earnings, if you are enduring more medical treatment or are no longer able to work in the same field
- Cost of future medical care
- Household expenses for adjustments made to accommodate your injury
- Costs associated with canceled plans
General damages assign a monetary value to the negative non-economic losses caused by the negligent actions of another. These impacting effects may include, but are not limited to, pain and suffering, decreased quality of life, changes in physical appearances (scarring or deformity), physical disabilities and/or impairments and mental anguish (past, present, and future).
While special damages are determined by adding up lost wages and bills, general damages involve human suffering. Instead, they are determined by the experienced opinion of an adjuster, attorney, mediator, or by the enlightened conscience of a juror during trial.
Punitive damages are damages awarded to the victim where a defendant acted with willful misconduct or reckless negligence that seems to demonstrate a conscious indifference toward consequences. In principle, punitive damages focus on punishing the defendant in hopes of deterring them (and others) from engaging in such reckless behavior in the future.
As an example, a driver who drove while intoxicated may not be eligible for jail time in criminal court. Similarly, in civil court, a jury could return a verdict for punitive damages to hold them financially accountable for their actions, creating a disincentive for repeating those actions.
Depending on the state you live in, there may be caps on punitive damages. In Georgia, there is a cap of $250,000.
Georgia attorney fees are awarded when it is evident that an insurance carrier has caused avoidable expenses for the plaintiff’s side by virtue of being stubbornly litigious.
Since insurance companies commonly draw out personal injury claims and offer ridiculously low settlements, these cases are often tried in court. That alone could be enough basis for the judge to require the defendant to pay attorney’s fees.
A plaintiff cannot collect damages until they have won their case in court or agreed to a settlement. However, being awarded damages in personal injury cases and collecting them are two different things.
When you’re up against an insurance company, you know they have the money to pay you the damages you’re owed. If you’re fighting an individual, they may not be able to provide you with the money all at once.
Working with a personal injury attorney can help you determine a collection process to ensure you get what you’re owed.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer Today
A skilled lawyer helps file for damages in personal injury cases. Our expert Duluth personal injury lawyers at Scholle Law have spent years fighting for victims like you. We know how much injuries cost and what the defendant owes you.
It’s not as easy as finding the number. Litigating claims for damages in personal injury cases can be challenging if you’ve never done it before. While you’re trying to heal, you don’t need the added stress of taking on a large insurance company by yourself.
Get Scholle Law on your side. Our personal injury lawyers are prepared to protect your rights against the insurance company’s greed. We won’t quit until you’ve recovered your damages.
Call us today to discuss your damages and how much you could recover by working with Scholle Law.