When a plaintiff succeeds on a personal injury claim, they typically receive monetary compensation. Unlike criminal cases, which can involve jail time, personal injury is a type of civil case. Typically, the defendant (or their insurance company) pays financial damages to the plaintiff.
What kind of compensation is available?
Personal injury damages are designed to “make the plaintiff whole again,” or return them to the position they were in before the accident. In some cases, where a plaintiff suffers permanent injury, that’s not possible—but they may be entitled to higher amounts of compensation as a result.
There are two main types of damages: economic and non-economic. Economic damages help make up for the financial burdens the plaintiff suffered, such as medical expenses, lost wages while recovering, the cost of future treatment and more. These are easy to calculate: the plaintiff can use medical paperwork, previous pay subs and other evidence to show how much money they have lost as a result of the accident.
Non-economic damages are designed to make up for more nebulous injury, such as mental anguish, pain and suffering and emotional distress. It’s harder to calculate these damages, since they’re not associated with set amounts of money. Courts generally consider the severity of the injuries, their permanence and other factors to calculate the amount.
In some cases, you may be eligible for punitive damages. Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for wrongdoing. For example, if a court finds that their conduct was particularly egregious, punitive damages may be granted to the plaintiff. Ideally, this deters the defendant (and others) from similar actions.
If you’ve been injured in a accident, the trusted Manatee County, FL personal injury lawyers at Goldman, Babboni, Fernandez, Murphy & Walsh can help. Call today for a consultation.