Types of Damages for Personal Injury
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In personal injury cases, there are several types of compensation you can pursue:
- Compensatory Damages
- Punitive Damages
- Nominal Damages
The nature of the injury, the length of time the person was injured / disabled, and any comparative fault will all play a role in determining the amount of damages awarded to the injury victim. Whether you were injured in a car accident, due to a dog bite, or after a slip and fall accident, it is important that you understand the types of damages available to you if your injuries were caused by someone else's negligence.
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These damages are specifically meant to reimburse an individual for their injury or injuries. This can include any actual damages and general damages. While actual damages specifically reimburse an individual for any out-of-pocket expenses they may have covered upfront, general damages are awarded for less tangible things you may not have physically paid money for, such as loss of enjoyment of life, emotional pain and suffering, disfigurement, loss of future wages / earning capacity. In comparison, actual damages would cover items such as rehabilitation and therapy bills, hospital expenses, property damage, and lost wages.
In cases where there is little evidence of actual damage, the court may still award the injury victim nominal damages. These damages are awarded to recognize that a defendant has legally wronged an individual, such as selling them a defective product or failing to follow guidelines or other rules.
In cases where the defendant has acted egregiously or maliciously, the court may decide to award the plaintiff punitive damages. These damages are reserved as a punishment. They are meant to teach the defendant a lesson for their actions and essentially discourage any future activity that may be intentionally harmful, reckless, or malicious.