Damages in Personal Injury Cases- How much is my case worth
Compensation is quantified by reference to the severity of the injuries sustainedIn personal injury claims, damages for compensation are quantified by reference to the severity of the injuries sustained (see below general damages for more details). In non-personal injury claims, for instance, a claim for professional negligence against solicitors, the measure of damages will be assessed by the loss suffered by the client due to the negligent act or omission by the solicitor giving rise to the loss. The loss must be reasonably foreseeable and not too remote Financial losses are usually simple to quantify but in complex cases which involve loss of pension entitlements and future loss projections, a specialist expert actuary or accountant can assist with the quantification of the loss.
Valuing Life and Limb in Tort"seventeen years ago, the editors of the Northwestern
University Law Review made a wise decision. They accepted for
publication an article--Valuing Life and Limb in Tort: Scheduling Pain and-
Suffering--which has become one of the most important pieces concerning
pain-and-suffering damages in the legal literature.
Nothing much has changed since BSB's seminal paper. Pain-and suffering
awards seem to continue to make up approximately fifty percent
of total awards, at least in some areas of personal injury cases.2 Juries,
judges, lawyers, lawmakers, and academics still struggle with the same dilemma
BSB tackled: what is the best way to adequately compensate tort
victims for the noneconomic harms they incur? In many ways, BSB's paper
is as relevant today as it was seventeen years ago. In the tort system, jurors are given
vague instructions to " compensate" the plaintiff
losses. They are told that the only real measuring stick they can
employ is their "collective experience "
Damages are compensatory in natureDamages are compensatory in nature. Compensatory damages addresses a plaintiff/claimant's losses (in cases involving physical or mental injury the amount awarded also compensates for pain and suffering). The award should make the plaintiff whole, sufficient to put the plaintiff back in the position he or she was before Defendant's negligent act. Anything more would unlawfully permit a plaintiff to profit from the tort.
Types of damage Special damages - quantifiable dollar losses suffered from the date of defendant's negligent act (the tort) up to a specified time (proven at trial). Special damage examples include lost wages, medical bills, and damage to property such as one's car.
General damages - these are damages that are not quantified in monetary terms (e.g., there's no invoice or receipt as there would be to prove special damages). A general damage example is an amount for the pain and suffering one experiences from a car accident.
Non-economic damages are damages for intangible harms such as severe pain, physical and emotional distressNon-economic damages are damages for intangible harms such as severe pain, physical and emotional distress, disfigurement, loss of the enjoyment of life that an injury has caused, including sterility, physical impairment and loss of a loved one, etc. These are, collectively, referred to as hedonic damages.
Non-economic damages compensate injuries and losses that are not easily quantified by a dollar amount. Also known as quality-of-life damages, this compensation covers the family of victims who have died, or severely injured victims.
Typically, a psychological injury may involve Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), a concussion, chronic pain, or a disorder that involves mood or emotions (such as depression, anxiety, fear, or phobia, and adjustment disorder). These disorders may manifest separately or in combination (co-morbidity). If the symptoms and effects persist, the injured person may become a complainant or plaintiff who initiates legal action
Compensatory damages, called actual damages, are paid to compensate for injury, or harm suffered as a result of another's breach of dutyIn law, damages are an award, typically of money, to be paid to a person as compensation for loss or injury; Compensatory damages, called actual damages, are paid to compensate the claimant for loss, injury, or harm suffered as a result of another's breach of duty. (e.g., in a negligence claim under tort law). Expectation damages are used in contract law.]. The rules for damages can and frequently do vary based on the type of claim which is presented (e.g., breach of contract versus a tort claim).Loss of use is the inability, due to a tort or other injury to use a body part, animal, equipment, premises, or other property. Law.com defines it as "the inability to use an automobile, premises or some equipment due to damage to the vehicle, premises or articles caused by the negligence or other wrongdoing of another.
Additional resources provided by the author
- Howard Roitman on Justia
- Crash law
- Howard Roitman on Justia
- Las Vegas Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Law Firm
- Howard Roitman on Facebook
- Insurance bad Faith - Nevada Insurance Companys that will not pay claims
- Liability to the property owner- slip, Trip , Fall
- Some Information on Negligence, or Why Victims Get Paid for Car Crash Injuries
- Howard Robert Roitman’s Answers