Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Cases
Personal injury victims may pursue compensation for monetary losses and physical and emotional suffering caused by their injury. In some cases, punitive damages may also be awarded. Injury victims should enlist the help of an experienced attorney to make sure they receive a just settlement.
What is compensated?
The type and amount of damages awarded depends on the victim’s injuries, the circumstances of the accident, and how the case is settled. While the victim is obligated to attempt to minimize losses caused by the injury, he or she may pursue economic compensation and, in some cases, punitive damages to cover:
- Monetary losses, including:
- Future medical expenses
- Present cash value (current value of projected future earnings)
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses
- Household services (the cost of hiring someone to maintain the plaintiff’s house during recovery)
- Physical and mental pain, including:
- Mental anguish
- Loss of consortium (loss of the benefits of a relationship because of the accident or injury)
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Pain and suffering
- Permanent disability
Obtaining a Settlement
Personal injury cases are settled either in a formal lawsuit or, more commonly, through an informal settlement (a negotiation between the plaintiff and defendant). When the verdict or negotiation is reached, the compensation will be awarded. Typically, minor to moderate injury cases are compensated with a lump sum payment, while more severe injury cases are often settled with a structured settlement.
Benefits of Structured Settlements
Structured settlements have several benefits over lump sum payments, including:
- Tax-free income. Structured settlements are often in the form of annuities or U.S. Treasure Securities, which are not taxed at the state or federal level.
- Long-term payment. The payment is made in installments over time, so the injured receives an income for several years to a lifetime.
- Flexibility. Often the injured can schedule the payments to best suit his or her needs.
Learn about well-known personal injury settlements.
Contact a Personal Injury Attorney
If you or a loved one have suffered a personal injury, you may be compensated for your injury and losses. Locate a skilled attorney near you who can help you attain adequate damages.