What types of Damages can be awarded to Plaintiffs in Personal Injury Cases?

Damages attempt to measure the amount of harm that the plaintiff has suffered because of the defendant’s actions. Plaintiffs receive compensation for two types of damages: (1) economic losses, and (2) non-economic losses.

You should assess your injury and consult with a lawyer before you settle your personal injury claim because insurance companies may attempt to settle personal injury claims very quickly.

What types of Damages are “Economic”?

Economic damages attempt to compensate the plaintiff for out-of-pocket expenses the plaintiff incurred because of the defendant’s conduct. Some of the economic damages that a plaintiff could recover after an auto accident are medical bills, property damages, cost of rehabilitation, and lost wages.

What types of Damages are “Non-Economic”?

Non-Economic damages compensate the plaintiff for the physical and emotional consequences of an injury. Some examples of non-economic harm are:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Mental Anguish
  • Loss of consortium/ loss of companionship and society
  • Disfigurement and physical impairment
  • Awareness of loss and lack of enjoyment of life
  • Injury to reputation

Non-Economic damages are less concrete in nature because everyone experiences physical and emotional pain differently. Due to the subjectivity of non-economic damages, these types of damages are sometimes the most controversial.

How are Damages awarded to the Plaintiff?

There are two different ways that Plaintiffs can receive damages. First, the parties can settle the case outside of court. This is an alternative to a trial, and the litigation ends when the lawsuit is settled.

Defendants often want to settle when the plaintiff has a strong case. Typically, the lawyers for both parties will mediate the case. The plaintiff must ultimately make the decision of whether to accept, or reject an offer to settle.

Another way that the plaintiff can recover damages is through a judgment made by a judge or jury. Judges can award damages through a bench trial, and juries award damages following a jury trial.

Can I Receive Damages for Stress at Work, Depression, Anxiety, or Bullying?

Plaintiffs can recover for mental suffering that occurred after an auto accident when the defendant’s conduct caused the plaintiff to suffer emotionally. This can include, stress, depression, anxiety, bullying (humiliation), worry, grief and shock. These damages are hard to prove everyone because experiences emotional distress differently.

A plaintiff must have evidence that she suffered emotional harm in order to receive compensation for emotional distress. Plaintiffs should document their emotional suffering. Examples of proper documentation can include visiting a therapist or psychologist, a medication list, doctor’s notes, and a personal diary written by the plaintiff that describes the plaintiff’s suffering.

For more information about damages or what your case is worth, read our blog on “What Is My Car Wreck Case Worth?