Determination of Damages in Personal Injury Cases
How are damages determined in personal injury cases? This is one of the most frequently asked questions in a PI case and is one of the most difficult to answer. It is difficult because there are no precise formulas and only a part of the value of a case is based upon quantifiable factors. In general terms damages are divided into two main areas: “special “ damages and “general” damages.
Special damages include actual out of pocket expenses such as medical bills and lost wages which can be readily calculated based on the total amount of your bills and proof of how much time you have lost from your job. General damages include past and future pain and suffering, past and future physical injuries, permanent disabilities and scarring. Pain-and-suffering includes physical pain, mental suffering and emotional anguish.
These injuries are then related to the actual extent of your injury and how such injury affected your daily life. This would include limitations of household activities, voice, leisure activity and social life. In an automobile accident, under Florida law, it is necessary to have permanent injury. This would include permanent disfigurement such as scars, blemishes and other disfiguring characteristics. In other types of PI cases permanent injury is not necessary to recover damages.Efforts of Our Law Firm
The Law offices of West Palm Beach PI attorney, Stephen J. Press, has handled many types of PI cases and has recovered significant damages for his clients. It is important that you consult with a knowledgeable PI attorney if you have been injured in an automobile accident or are the victim of other types of personal injuries.
Part of the determination of damages whether there is any evidence that you were partly at fault. For example, if a jury would conclude that you were 25% at fault, your recovery would be reduced by 25%. When settlement is discussed there are several factors that influence how the settlement amount is determined:
- the extent of liability on the part of the potential defendant
- whether you may be partially at fault
- the status of the law as it relates to your case
- the quality of your witnesses, including those who will testify about the incident, your injuries and your medical treatment
- other factors as previously discussed such as pain and suffering, inconvenience and loss of consortium (how the injury affected your marital relationship)
- the insurance company involved in the case.
A monetary recovery in a PI case is known as “compensatory” damages. The purpose is to, say an injured person for his losses. “Punitive” damages may be recovered cases where a defendant’s behavior is particularly egregious. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate for losses, but are instead meant to punish a defendant in the turnovers from engaging in similar conduct in the future. An example of this kind of case where punitive damages may be awarded is in a case in which a “drunk” driver is responsible for the accident.Contact a West Palm Beach PI attorney
Have you have been involved in an automobile crash, wrongful death, slip and fall or have suffered other personal injuries, you should consult with an experienced PI attorney. The law offices of PI attorney West Palm Beach, Stephen J. Press, offers a free evaluation of your case. Please call us at 561-833-2772 or contact us online.