Damages in Personal Injury Cases
If you have suffered injury or loss as a result of an accident, you may be entitled to receive compensation from those who caused the accident. The types of compensation generally available include both (a) economic losses, and (b) non-economic losses.
Economic losses are measurable losses, while non-economic losses refer to intangible losses. Sometimes, a victim’s family members may also be entitled to recover damages.
Economic losses that may be awarded include:
- Current medical expenses: fees and costs for surgery, medication, doctors, hospitals, medication, surgery, and related expenses.
- Future medical expenses: physical therapy, cosmetic surgery to repair scarring, and any other continued medical care relating to the injury.
- Lost income: wages or earnings lost as a result of the time the victim is unable to work during his recovery.
- Diminished future earnings: any reduction in future earning capacity as a result of a long term or permanent disability caused by the injury.
- Life care: cost of assistance in performing daily activities if the victim’s injuries have robbed him of the ability to care for himself.
Non-economic damages that may be awarded to an accident victim and/or family members include:
- Pain and suffering: the physical pain caused by the injuries.
- Emotional distress: a victim’s mental anguish as a result of being disfigured, for example, or a parent’s trauma as a result of witnessing their loved one being hurt.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: loss of quality of life as a result of the victim’s impaired ability to engage in basic daily activities and/or hobbies and sports.
- Loss of consortium: loss of spousal companionship and services.
- Punitive damages: available if the defendant acted with oppression, fraud or malice. Punitive damages are not covered by insurance in California.
- Wrongful death: If an accident victim dies from the injuries, additional damages may be available to certain family members under a wrongful death action.