The term damages refers to “the sum of money the law imposes for a breach of some duty or violation of some right.” Therefore, damages is a sum of money paid to the plaintiff in a lawsuit to compensate for an injury or loss or in order to punish the defendant for wrongdoing.
There are three categories of damages available in personal injury cases and these are general, special and punitive.
These refer to the cost of suffering that cannot have a definite price tag placed on it. The most common examples of general damages include the following:
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
- Physical and mental pain and suffering
- Loss of future earning capacity
These cover the more quantifiable expenses caused by the persona injury which includes medical bills and past missed work. It must be noted that special damages are generally more exact than general damages.
Damages that can be recovered in the event of the wrongful death of an individual as a result of injuries sustained or a car accident includes the following:
- Survival statutes – these allow the deceased patient’s heirs or estate to recover damages that occurred during the time period from the initial medical malpractice to the death of the patient. Such damages generally include everything allowed in a medical malpractice lawsuit had the patient survived, except for damages relating to the future e.g. earning capacity. This may also cover funeral expenses when relating to wrongful death statutes.
- Wrongful death statutes – these are designed to compensate the patient’s family for their future monetary loss. The calculation is more thorough than a simple projection of future salary. It takes into consideration factors like the patient’s spending, saving and working habits.
For a free first consultation and case evaluation contact the Vinson Law Office