Compensatory Vs. Punitive Damages When Determining A Personal Injury Lawsuit


Injuries from a car accident that are caused by a negligent driver fall into two categories--compensatory and punitive damages. Proving both types of damages occurred takes time, careful perusal of your medical records, and good record keeping. When it comes to determining what your medical bills are, and what your damages are because of a loss of income, those numbers are easy to prove. When figuring out damages from pain and suffering, loss of function and future income, this becomes more complicated.

Proving Compensatory Damages

Damages that are considered compensatory are things that have cost you money because of the accident. When another driver is held responsible for your injuries, compensatory damages are calculated by adding up your medical costs, your lost wages, and any other bills or financial losses that have occurred because you are not currently able to work. Proving these damages can be as simple as providing copies of your medical bills, wage statements and other bills. It's easy to prove compensatory damages that are measurable, but some compensatory damages are harder to prove.

When you have suffered pain from your injury, this is also a part of compensatory damages. This is hard for the courts to measure, as all pain and suffering is not created equal. The courts will look at the severity of your injuries, your length of time in treatment, and any permanent injuries you will have because of the incident. The worse your injuries are, and the longer you are expected to remain disabled will increase your compensatory damages amount.

Punitive Damages Can Be Signficant

Damages that are punitive are meant to punish the guilty party, and the range of punitive damages can be significant. Punitive damages are not always possible in every personal injury case, but when the guilty party has been grossly negligent with no regard for human safety, punitive damages may be part of the deal. The goal of punitive damages is to stop the guilty party from doing the same thing in the future, and many are deterred when they have to pay large amounts of money in damages.

If you have been injured by another driver, it's time to sit down with an auto accident attorney for a free initial consultation. You should bring any accident reports that you have and your medical records that you have collected for this first meeting. Together you will sit down with the attorney and discuss the options for your personal injury case.


30 October 2015

Staying Strong During A Legal Battle

When you are involved in a messy car accident, things can get complicated fast. In addition to proving who was at fault, you might also have to worry about healing. However, you don't have to endure long phone calls and complicated insurance paperwork on your own. Hiring an attorney is the key to remaining strong during the aftermath of a car accident. As you think about your own situation, try to figure out if you can do things on your own. If you feel like you need a little help, don't be afraid to talk with an attorney. The information on this website should help you to decide how legal counsel can help you.