Whether you are the victim of a car accident, injured in the workplace, or find yourself the suffering after a fall, the chances are high that you may find yourself with long-lasting injuries. These can have an impact on your financial situation.
In most cases, skilled personal injury lawyers will work with victims to help ensure that liability is rightly placed on the other party – be that another driver, your boss, the owner of a dog, or the property owner. If you are successful in establishing liability, you will be in a position to pursue the other party for damages and financial compensation, which can help with costs, including medical bills and expenses. Loss of earnings could also usually part of the package, and this can help put your mind at ease if the accident leaves you unable to work as usual.
What Kind of Damages Can I Claim?
There are two main types of damages available to victims: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic Damages or Special Damages
Economic damages are those which most of us are most likely to think of when we consider compensation and tend to be easier to prove in court. By their very nature, they are more objective and are designed to address damages that have left the victim at a financial disadvantage. Common examples include:
- Medical bills – including those incurred at the time of the accident, and further treatments, medications, or operations which are needed down the line as a result of the injury
- Loss of income – again, this applied to the time of the accident and the potential for reduced earning capacity in the future
- Property damage incurred as a result of the accident
- Household services – this can apply if the injured party requires extra assistance and support around the house following the accident
- Any costs for adapting the home to allow the victim to live comfortably after a disability
Non-Economic Damages or General Damages
The other type of damages which can be awarded are non-economic damages, and these are a little trickier to calculate. This term refers to damages that cannot be measured but can still result in genuine and substantial pain for the victim.
Allocation of compensation for non-economic damages is more subjective and ultimately comes down to the preference of the legal team and the extent to which they feel the victim deserves damages and compensation. In short, the payment of non – economic damages depends on the opinion of the jury and their sympathy for the victim. Different juries may come up with wildly varying damages for the same scenario, as there is no physical, documented evidence to rely on.
Common examples of these damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of everyday activities or hobbies
- Loss of consortium – this includes love, affection, a social life, and sexual relationships