There are three types of damages in personal injury claims: non-economic damages, economic damages, and punitive damages. Special and general damages are alternative terms used to describe economic and non-economic losses.
Personal injury cases based on negligence may award compensation for economic and non-economic losses, but punitive damages are only available in certain situations. For example, if someone committed a crime against you and caused your injuries, you can sue the perpetrator and collect accordingly.
What Are Some Examples of Each Type of Damage?
Here are the three categories of damages a Fort Lauderdale personal injury lawyer could help you pursue in a lawsuit, along with specific examples.
Economic damages are awarded to victims to recover the financial losses resulting from their injuries. This compensation is to relieve the injured party’s financial burden. The amounts are calculated based on the fair market price at the time the incident occurred.
Economic losses may include:
- Loss of income
- Reduced earning capacity
- Medical costs
- Rehabilitation expenses
- Repairs or replacement of damaged property
- Cost of managing a disability
- Funeral costs in the case of a loved one’s death
- Personal care costs
- Other out-of-pocket expenses
Non-economic losses are hard to put a price on, as they can encompass things like pain and suffering. These losses are less tangible than economic ones.
Non-economic losses may include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of companionship
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of reputation
When calculating the above losses, important factors include the age of the victim, their line of work and income, and the extent of their injuries. For instance, a young person with a high-paying career who is unable to work and requires long-term medical care will suffer greatly as a result of their injury.
Insurance companies are more likely to award money for economic losses because they are easy to prove in court. For example, it is easier to document medical expenses because these costs are listed on receipts and invoices.
However, intangible losses are difficult to quantify as people do not associate pain and loss with money.
Punitive damages are sometimes awarded in cases where the defendant’s actions were particularly reckless, malicious, or wanton. They go beyond compensation and serve as a means of discouraging irresponsible behavior.
Unlike the above-mentioned compensatory damages, punitive damages aim to punish the defendant for gross negligence or intentional misconduct. The punishment is intended to prevent others from conducting themselves in a similar manner.
Punitive damages are only occasionally available in Florida. For this additional money to be awarded, the defendant’s actions must be intentional or reckless. For example, if a drunk driver caused your injuries, the court could award you punitive damages due to the defendant’s complete disregard for others on the road.
Find a Personal Injury Lawyer,
Near Me (855) 529-0269
What Is the Difference Between Compensatory and Punitive Damages?
Economic and non-economic losses both fall under the category of compensatory damages, while punitive damages are completely different. Understanding the fundamental difference between these forms of compensation is vital in legal matters, as they serve distinct purposes.
Compensatory damages are designed to compensate the injured party for harm suffered due to the actions of another party. They are meant to “make the plaintiff whole” by reimbursing them for actual losses, such as medical bills, vehicle repairs, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
Compensatory damages aim to restore the plaintiff to the position they were in before the wrongdoing occurred. Conversely, punitive damages are not intended to compensate the plaintiff for what they’ve endured but to punish the defendant for their egregious conduct. They can also help deter similar behavior.
What Do I Need to Prove to Receive Financial Compensation?
Please note that any type of compensation requires establishing negligence. Negligence occurs when a person fails to exercise reasonable care, which then causes an injury to someone else. Plaintiffs must prove that the defendant owed them a duty of care and breached that duty. Plaintiffs must also show that the defendant’s breach led to their injuries.
When insurance negotiations are unsuccessful, plaintiffs often bring civil actions against negligent or criminal parties to seek fair compensation for their injuries, suffering, and related expenses. To understand the value of your lawsuit, you must know the types of damages available to you. However, obtaining a fair settlement or court award can be challenging.
One of the hurdles is proving the value of your damages. This is especially true of losses that do not have a monetary value. If you sustained an injury due to someone’s negligent behavior, a personal injury attorney can help you calculate the full value of your case.
Click to contact Chalik & Chalik's personal injury lawyers today
When Should I Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer?
If someone’s negligence caused your injury, you may need help pursuing financial compensation. Personal injury can occur under many circumstances.
These incidents may include:
- Pedestrian accidents
- Truck accidents
- Product defects
- Car accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Medical malpractice
- Slip-and-fall accidents
People often sustain serious injuries from the circumstances listed above. Examples include broken bones, traumatic brain injuries (TBIs), burns, and internal injuries. Severe injuries can affect your quality of life and may require lengthy recoveries or ongoing medical treatment. Dealing with the repercussions of such injuries can be painful for you and your loved ones.
If you sustained a personal injury, you might be suffering significant losses and should discuss your case with an attorney. This is usually the best course of action when seeking compensation to recover your expenses and other effects of your injury.
For a free legal consultation call (855) 529-0269
Contact Our Law Firm for a Free Consultation
At Chalik & Chalik Injury Lawyers, we can analyze the types of damages available to you during your free initial consultation. Floridians choose our experienced attorneys to represent their interests so they can focus on recovering from their injuries while we build their cases.
When you trust us with your personal injury case, we’ll keep you informed at every stage of the legal process and fight for the compensation you deserve. Since we handle cases on contingency, you won’t pay any attorney fees upfront. We only get paid when we win your case. Contact us today for a free legal consultation.
Call or text Chalik & Chalik (855) 529-0269