What Are Damages?

After a life-changing accident happens to a personal injury victim, they may have to pay costly expenses because of the injuries caused by their personal injury. These losses are called damages and create a financial burden that can deeply upset the victim in many ways. Damages can be both economic and non-economic in nature, all of which can be compensated for if the victim decides to seek a settlement from the other party with the help of a personal injury attorney. 

Here are the most common examples of damages that you might experience in a personal injury case: 

Common Economic Damages

These types of damages include anything that was paid out of pocket by the personal injury victim.

Property Damage

After an accident, there may be property damage, which resulted in the repair or replacement of valuable items. An accident could have caused damage to a victim’s car or home but there could be more. For example, in a trucking accident, the personal injury victim can receive compensation for property damage if their car was totaled and the damage exceeds their car insurance policy. 

Medical Bills

Personal injuries can be painful and disastrous for the health of the victim. They may be struggling with head wounds, broken bones, burns, scars, and more. Because of this, they have to get medical care to recover from their injuries. They may have to pay for imaging scans, surgery, physical therapy, prescription medicine, and more. Past, current, and future medical bills can be included in the damages. 

Income Loss

Personal injury victims are likely to experience income loss because their personal injury leaves them temporarily disabled and unable to work until they fully recover. This can cause a deficit in their income. This financial burden can last weeks or months. When this occurs, past and future lost wages can also be included in their settlement award. 

Funeral Expenses 

In a case of wrongful death, funeral expenses, such as burial fees, the coffin, service fees, flowers, and more, can be accounted for in the compensation. Otherwise, the surviving family members may have to pay thousands of dollars to bury their loved ones at their own expense. 

Lost Benefits

When a loved one passes away, their benefits, such as life or health insurance, pension plans, and other investments, can be recovered through a settlement. 

Common Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages include the pain and suffering that the personal injury victim has to endure after the accident. Emotional distress can be caused by the injuries they have to overcome. This can include anxiety, depression, shame, grief, and other signs. 

There are also punitive damages, which could be awarded in a case that goes to trial. The judge and jury will reward punitive damages to the victim for grossly neglectful behavior by the at-fault party. You can learn more about damages from a knowledgeable personal injury attorney.