Personal Injury Law – How Much is Your Personal Injury Claim Worth?


The legal term for an injury to someone’s body, mind, or their emotions is “personal injury”. It is often used when a plaintiff claims that his or her injury was caused by the negligence of another party – the defendant.

What Factors Determine How Much a Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim is Worth?

A number of different factors are taken into consideration by the court to determine how much to award the plaintiff for a personal injury or wrongful death claim. One of the primary factors that is taken into account is the economic damages that the plaintiff is suffering. These are sometimes called special damages.

What Are Special Damages?

Economic damages include all the monetary losses that resulted from an accident. It could be lost wages, medical bills, rehabilitation expenses, and more. Special damages are often rather easy to prove because things such as medical bills leave a very easily obtainable paper trail.

What may be harder to prove are entities that are called general damages.

What Are General Damages?

In contrast to special damages, general damages are not economic in nature. There usually is no documentation that is readily available.

General damages can include emotional pain and suffering, physical pain, disfigurement, loss of consortium, the loss of companionship, the impairment or the loss of physical and/or mental capacity, and the loss of the enjoyment of life.

Because general damages are so hard to prove they usually necessitate a high degree of legal skill in order to convince the judge and the jury that you suffered these damages and are entitled to receive the maximum amount of compensation. Therefore, if you or someone you love has suffered from a personal injury due to someone else’s negligence, it is very important that you contact experienced legal professionals in order to successfully deal with any and all non-economic damages.

What Are Punitive Damages?

In some instances the court will find that the defendant is also liable for punitive damages. According to personal injury law, this type of damage usually isn’t awarded as compensation for an injury. Rather, punitive damages are awarded to punish the defendant’s actions.

In most jurisdictions throughout the United States, in order for a claimant to receive punitive damages he or she must prove that whatever event or injury caused the damages were a result of malice, fraud, or gross negligence. You’ll find that punitive damages that are awarded for medical malpractice claims are often based on allegations of gross neglect and/or malice.

Punitive damages may also be awarded on separate statutory provisions that establish the cause of the action as well as the authorization to recover exemplary/punitive damages. Once again, qualified legal counsel should represent you in any claim for potential punitive damages.


Source by Wendy Moyer