Written by attorney Lars A. Lundeen

What Damages Am I Entitled to Recover in My Personal Injury Claim?

Damages in a personal injury case vary, depending on the individual circumstances of each case.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are a payment of money which will compensate the injured party for the injuries sustained, and nothing more. It is the amount of money which will simply make good or replace the loss caused by the wrong or injury. The amount of the compensation is very fact intensive and will vary from case to case depending on the particular circumstances. Typically compensatory damages may include:

  • Compensation for past and future resulting pain and suffering
  • Past and future loss of wages or lost earning capacity
  • Disability or physical impairment
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Mental anguish
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of the ability to engage in recreational activities
  • Past and future loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life
  • Past and future medical and other related health care bills
  • Past and future loss of the companionship, services, comfort, society and attentions suffered by your spouse due to your injuries.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are also sometimes called exemplary damages. This type of damages is awarded to the plaintiff over and above what will normally just compensate him for his loss, where the wrong done to him was aggravated by circumstances of violence, oppression, malice, fraud or wanton or wicked conduct on the part of the defendant. It is often thought of in terms of punishing the defendant for his evil behavior or to make an example of him for which reason they are called "punitive" damages

Wrongful Death Damages

In wrongful death cases there are statutorily defined damages recoverable which are somewhat different from the usual compensatory damages. These damages will usually vary from state to state. If they apply to your situation, they will be discussed with you by your personal injury attorney. Punitive damages are also recoverable in wrongful death cases, provided the aggravating circumstances exist as noted above.

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