What Are Damages In Personal Injury Law?

When speaking with a personal injury attorney, a good portion of what you'll talk about is a topic known as damages. It's important to discuss what a personal injury lawyer means when the subject of damages comes up.

Compensation to Make Things Right

In American law, it's understood that many injuries lead to problems that can never be put back the way things work. Someone who suffers a spinal cord injury after falling from a set of stairs due to a faulty handrail, for example, stands a serious chance of never leading their normal life again.

As much as possible, though, the law wants to see cases even out. This is accomplished by awarding compensation, almost always in the form of money, to the plaintiff to make up for what has happened. A personal injury attorney will oftentimes refer to this award of compensation as damages.

How Are Damages Paid?

There are three ways damages can be handled. Most commonly, a client's personal injury lawyer files a claim with the defendant's insurance company. The insurance company appoints a claims adjuster who verifies that the claim is legit. If the claim checks out, the adjuster will provide a settlement offer.

A second scenario involves suing the defendant. This may happen if a settlement can't be reached or the defendant simply refuses to consider a claim. Both parties go to court and present their explanation for what happened. If the plaintiff prevails, the court will order the defendant to pay. The judge may even place a lien on the defendant's assets or garnish their wages.

The least-common scenario is that a self-insured defendant settles the case out of their pocket. Normally, this is handled like an insurance, but without the involvement of a company.

What Can You Claim?

Physical damages are generally the easiest ones for clients to understand. You can seek compensation to cover medical bills, surgeries, prescription drug costs, and long-term care expenses. Likewise, you can also seek damages to make up for bodily injuries, such as the loss of a body part or a reduction in function. Pain and suffering from the injuries, such as agony from damaged nerves, are recoverable, too.

If a case goes to trial, you may be able to see punitive damages. These are awarded when a defendant does something so bad that society wants to deter future parties from doing similar things. If a building's superintendent neglected to repair hot water pipes and they burst, for example, punitive damages might be awarded.

For more information on what damages are, reach out to a local personal injury attorney.

433 Words

About Me

Improving Your Life Every Day It isn't always easy to know how to move forward after something happens like a car accident, but the right people can guide you through the process. From talking with you about how you are feeling to helping you to file the appropriate paperwork, accident and personal injury attorneys make it easy to improve your life. If you are struggling after a car incident, don't feel like you are alone. Reach out to professionals to make sense of your financial situation and your vehicle repair. By making the right changes today, you can improve your entire future for the better.



Latest Posts

Why You Might Need a Medical Malpractice Attorney
20 March 2024
Medical malpractice poses a grave concern, potentially leading to dire repercussions for patients and their loved ones. If you believe that you have b

Important Evidence to Gather After a Car Accident
15 January 2024
Getting into a car accident is a distressing experience, and it's easy to feel overwhelmed in the aftermath. However, it's crucial to gather important

Why Having a Personal Injury Attorney Is Critical to Your Recovery
4 December 2023
Suffering from an injury that was caused by someone else can be a traumatizing experience. Not only do you have to deal with physical pain and emotion