Compensation for personal injury is awarded through damages, and there are different types of damages considered in personal injury cases. Knowing what they are can help you better understand what may be granted to you and why. Here’s a quick overview of compensatory and punitive damages.
Types of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Cases
In a nutshell, compensatory damages cover your actual losses or harm caused by an accident. Many things fall under this category including reimbursement for medical expenses or cost of future medical care, household expenses, lost wages or loss of future earning potential, and other similar expenses that can be calculated with factual data. In addition, compensatory damages also include subjective valuations like pain and suffering, loss of companionship, and mental anguish. Compensatory damages are the most common types of damages awarded in personal injury cases.
Depending on the circumstances, punitive damages might also be included. As the name implies, it’s meant to punish behavior. It typically arises in cases where a plaintiff’s actions (or lack thereof) are intentional, malicious, fraudulent, etc. For example, if a company knew about a safety issue but intentionally ignored it to save money or avoid bad press, punitive damages may be awarded.
It is extremely important to provide sufficient evidence for damage claims. For personal injury cases in Massachusetts, this may require documentation from different sources, testimony by industry professionals, eyewitness statements, and the like. Demonstrating liability and referencing precedent may also be necessary. Evidence gathering and presentation can be complex. It’s not something that you would pursue alone. Experienced personal injury attorneys have the knowledge, resources, and strategies to accomplish this for you. Be sure to hire an attorney early in the process to improve your chances of adequate compensation.
Difficulty Collecting Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Unfortunately, being awarded damages after a trial does not guarantee receipt of payment. Challenges can continue even after successful litigation. Discuss options with your attorney. If you are involved with a personal injury case in Massachusetts, contact our team to schedule a consultation. We understand the complexity of personal injury lawsuits and will work to protect your best interests.