Posted in:

Types of Recoverable Damages in Your Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you get injured as a result of someone’s else negligent actions and can prove it, you have the right to pursue justice and obtain monetary compensation. The circumstances of your case will determine the type of compensation you can recover.  

But the type of compensation is determined by the jury on a case-by-case basis. The courts, however, get to review this judgment and approve the amount if they deem it sufficient, or change it if they feel it is in excess or deficient. Let’s look at the types of damages and situations where the compensation can be altered.

Compensatory Damages

These are awarded with the assumption that the incident put you in a position you wouldn’t have been in if the injury didn’t occur. It seeks to address your financial, physical, and emotional losses through the awarded compensation. These recoverable damages can be divided into two categories: special damages and general damages.

  • Special Damages: This type of compensation seeks to cushion you from any monetary losses. This includes medical costs related to the incident, the cost of living with an injury that has caused a disability, the loss of earning capacity, recovering the value of any damaged property, or funeral expenses. Basically, it refers to anything that has drastically altered your lifestyle.
  • General Damages: These damages are quite challenging in value assessment and vary between victims. This includes compensation for any emotional distress and loss of consortium, which heavily impacts the victim’s spouse.

Punitive Damages

These damages are typically designed to punish the defendant rather than compensate the victim. They are awarded when the defendant behaves in a way such that they can be viewed to be outrageous and carry malicious intent. Not all personal injury cases can include this compensation settlement. Courts tend to limit punitive damage awards to a maximum of 10 times the amount of compensatory damages. You need to ensure that you hire the services of a trusted legal advocate such as this West Palm Beach personal injury lawyer when pursuing a case under these circumstances.

Structured Settlements

Once you win a personal injury damage, you can choose to receive the compensation in a structured format. You can choose to receive the damage award according to a predetermined schedule of your choice. There are several benefits to choosing a structured settlement over a lump sum damage award. Apart from increasing the chances of receiving compensation from the defendant, structured settlements also help to significantly reduce the federal and state income taxes on your award damage.

Personal Injury Lawsuits vs. Personal Injury Claims

Filing both personal injury claims and personal injury lawsuits can help you recover damages. You can choose to do this separately or at the same time.

Personal Injury Lawsuit

Personal injury is usually regarded as a civil wrong and will be treated as a civil lawsuit. You can choose to pursue this if a personal injury claim fails to get settled or, at the same time, in accordance with the statute of limitations in your state.

Personal Injury Claim

You typically have to file this with an insurance company. The best way to go about this is first filing a claim with your insurance company. You should then make a third-party claim with the insurance company of the defendant. Be aware that this process doesn’t involve the courts.

Circumstances Under Which You Can File a Personal Injury Lawsuit

There are many circumstances under which a personal injury claim or lawsuit can fall. The key emphasis should be on being able to prove negligence. Personal injury lawsuit incidences include:

  • Automobile accidents
  • Medical malpractice
  • Accidents arising from slipping or falling.
  • Nursing home abuse
  • Dog bites

These situations can be taxing for the plaintiff and may significantly alter their way of life. It’s crucial to stay informed on these circumstances so you don’t unexpectedly find yourself facing a personal injury suit.

Personal Injury Statute of Limitation in California

If you intend to pursue a personal injury lawsuit in California, you need to identify the time frame you have for which to file it. This is because you won’t be able to receive compensation if the deadline for filing a personal injury lapses. The statute of limitation for personal injury lawsuits in California is two years. Though there are exceptions to this rule, they are rare, and you give up your right to sue when this time lapses. If you have no substantial reason for your delay, your case may fail because most defendants use the expired statute of limitation as a defense.

Exceptions to The Statute of Limitation

The State of California acknowledged special circumstances that can limit your ability to file a claim. To ensure that fairness is upheld. These situations include:

  • Delayed discovery: This rule is useful for victims who fail to notice the extent of an injury during the time frame. It can also apply to circumstances where you initially weren’t able to determine that the accident was a result of someone’s negligence.
  • The statute of limitation can also be suspended if the defendant happens to leave the state before you file the lawsuit.

Hiring an attorney will help you find out whether you have a valid claim. They can also determine whether the circumstances for failing to meet the statute of limitation are acceptable under the law.

How Can You Collect Damages?

Once you have won a personal injury lawsuit, you need to determine how to receive your compensation. For personal injury claims, the process is pretty straightforward. You will have to sign a release to verify the end of the legal matter, and you’ll then receive your monetary compensation.

But if you were pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, collecting a damage award can be a little more challenging. This is because the defendant can choose to appeal the matter, which is sure to delay your compensation. Some defendants can also avoid contact, making it crucial that you find an attorney who can help you collect your personal injury settlement.

Hiring a Lawyer

Finding a lawyer will help you determine an accurate settlement value for your personal injury lawsuit. Determining a specific amount or range that you believe is deserving of your injury will help you to receive the best damage award. An attorney can also answer any questions you may have concerning your matter. Being cognizant of the difference between the different types of recoverable damages is essential when you intend to pursue a personal injury lawsuit. Finally, keep in mind that no matter the circumstances, it’s always best to ensure that the settlement is put into writing.