What Is Your Remedy if You Sustain a Personal Injury Caused by Someone Else?
When suffering an injury caused by another individual, it is common to feel extremely overwhelmed with the influx of medical bills, physical pain and emotional stress you may endure. By filing a personal injury lawsuit, you can hold the person who caused your injury accountable and get the compensation you deserve. The one question we hear most often from our personal injury clients is “how much is my case worth?” Unfortunately, it is hard to determine how much money will make up for your harms and losses or, said another way, how what is a fair and reasonable amount for what was taken from you.
What Are The Types of Damages in A Personal Injury Case?
Personal injury lawsuits are filed to seek compensation, or “damages” for the injuries, complications, harms, losses, etc. that the person injured has sustained. The main categories or types of damages are general damages and special damages.
General damages also called non-economic damages focus on the impact of an injury on a person’s life, the experience of their injury, the harms and losses they’ve endured, and the impact the injury will have on them for the rest of their life. Here are the different types of general damages for a personal injury case:
- Past pain and suffering: this focuses on the physical pain someone experienced due to their injuries, what they went through trying to recover from their injuries, difficulties they encountered along the way, pain from injuries which did not heal or did not fully heal, etc.
- Future pain and suffering: this focuses on the physical pain someone will experience in the future due to their injuries, what they will have to go through down the road, difficulties they will encounter along the way, continued pain from injuries which still have not or never will heal, physical pain and problems they will have for the rest of their life due to their injuries, etc.
- Past mental anguish: this focuses on the mental and emotional struggles of the person injured due to not only their injuries but also the experience of trying to recover from those injuries. Injuries not only affect a person physically, but also affect their mind, attitude, energy, focus, hope, outlook on life and so on which can lead to anxiety, depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Future mental anguish: this focuses on the mental and emotional struggles that a person is expected to experience in the future. After years of suffering from physical injuries and the emotional anguish that comes with those injuries, many people do not recover from their injuries and will have a life-long battle with physical pain, which will definitely cause mental anguish and emotional distress in the future.
Special damages also called economic damages focus on the economic or monetary losses a person endured due to personal injury. Here are the different types of general damages for a personal injury case:
- Past medical bills: when someone sustains a personal injury, they require medical treatment such as ambulance transport, emergency room visits, doctor visits, physical therapy, diagnostic imaging, pain management, prescription medication and sometimes surgery. The law allows someone to present evidence of the medical bills they have incurred as a result of their injuries.
- Future medical bills: although someone who has sustained a personal injury has incurred medical bills for medical treatment, many times they still require medical treatment in the future. The law allows someone to present evidence of the type of medical treatment they will require in the future as well as how long the treatment is expected to last and the estimated cost of this treatment. This is done through either the person’s treating doctor or an expert known as a life care planner.
- Past lost wages: when someone sustains a personal injury, many times it also impacts their livelihood. They are forced to miss work for extended periods of time while recovering from their injuries, they miss time to attend doctor appointments and sometimes they are unable to return to work or lose their job due to the nature of their injuries preventing them from carrying on the same type of work. A person injured can present evidence of how many days/weeks/months they missed from work along with their rate of pay and, for cases where the person was unable to return to work, can present evidence through an expert such as an economist on how much money they lost in wages for being unable to work.
- Future Destruction or Impairment of Power to Earn: there can be situations when the person injured is never able to return to work or can return to working, but has to change jobs due to medical limitations/restrictions and now make less money than what they were earning before their injury. This is when the person can present evidence of the destruction or impairment of their earning capacity into the future due to their personal injuries through either an economist or a vocational expert.
At Hendy | Johnson | Vaughn | Emery, our Louisville personal injury attorneys proudly represent individuals who sustain injury through no fault of their own. We’re here to help hold the responsible parties accountable in order to provide you and your family with a remedy for the harms and losses caused by someone else. We are here to help make up for what was taken from you. To get started with a free case evaluation, reach out to our team here. We look forward to helping you seek justice.