What is Compensation?
The purpose of a personal injury lawsuit is for the victim to recover damages from the person who is responsible for them. The recovery of damages is referred to as compensation. There are two main ways that you can recover damages that you should be aware of if you are interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit. On this page, I will discuss some compensation basics so that you can get a better idea of what you might be owed for your injuries.
Types of Damages
As mentioned above, there are two major types of damages that you can get compensation for. Compensation will almost always be awarded to the victim in the form of money. The money may be given in a lump sum or in installments over time, depending on the specifics of the case. But this compensation comes from two types of damages – economic and non economic damages.
Economic damages refer to any money that you spent related to your injury. Economic damages are fairly easy to calculate, especially if you keep receipts from what you had to spend for your injury. A few common examples of economic damages include bills for:
- Emergency room or doctor visits
- Hospital fees
- Equipment you had to buy related to your injury, such as crutches, a wheelchair, etc.
- Physical therapy
- Testing such as X-rays, CAT scans, or MRIs
- Money lost by having to take time off of work (which can also be addressed through worker’s compensation)
As you can see, these are tangible things that you can come up with a clear dollar amount for. If you spent $5,000 on bills related to your injury, fair compensation for economic damages would be $5,000.
Things get a bit trickier when you factor in non-economic damages. This type of damage refers to emotional injuries that resulted from your injury. You can receive compensation for non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
It can be tricky to calculate this, though, because it is hard to put a price on “pain and suffering”. This is not a clear dollar-to-dollar exchange; instead there are formulas to help determine the amount of compensation that you should receive for non-economic damages.
Long Term Damages
Another factor that comes into play with compensation is long term suffering. If you sustain an injury that you can recover from in a matter of weeks or months, your compensation probably won’t be very high. But, if you sustain a long term injury, such as paralysis, head trauma, or a severed limb, non-economic damages will be taken into account to a greater extent. Future damages will be considered which could mean that you recover more compensation.
The end goal of a personal injury lawsuit is compensation. If you file a case, you are likely looking for justice in the form of compensation. In order to actually recover damages, you need to prove fault. To do this and make sure that you receive the compensation you deserve, you can contact my office for further assistance.