Personal Injury Damages Pt 3

Posted on Thursday, March 12th, 2020 at 8:26 am    

The point of damages in tort actions is to make the injured person whole. The person is made hole through the award of money to compensate for injuries caused by the accident or incident. This article and a subsequent one will discuss damages established in a tort claim.

There are a number of damages that can be claimed for in a tort claim in order to make the injured party whole. These damages include the following:

Emotional distress damages

There are three types of emotional distress, these are that which is:

  1. Inflicted intentionally
  2. Negligently inflicted
  3. Emotional distress of bystanders

In the first two instances damages are established by:

  • examination of mental health experts.
  • evidence of the effect on the plaintiff’s health,
  • earning capacity and
  • expected expenses and loss of wages caused

Bystanders May recover for emotional distress damages under limited circumstances. The emotional disturbance that they have suffered must be:

  • “serious and verifiable”
  • tied as a matter of proximate causation to the observation of the serious injury/death of an immediate family member

In conclusion the plaintiff must have been in the “zone of danger”. This means the victim must have been exposed to a risk of bodily harm by the conduct of the defendant.

Economic loss

In other forms of personal injury, the victim may be compensated for economic losses only. However, in most jurisdictions the recovery of purely economic losses in a product liability action is not available. In actions of negligence, a manufacturer’s liability is limited to damages for physical injuries and not for Economic loss alone. Therefore, if a product breaks and the only thing damaged is the product itself, tort damages will not be allowed.

For legal advice on potential damages in your personal injury case speak to a personal injury attorney at the Vinson Law Office today.


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