The Categories of Damages Recoverable in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

If you were injured in an accident as a result of the carelessness and negligence of somebody else, you’re not just entitled to payment of your medical bills, but can recover other categories of damages as well. The law allows you to seek compensation for a wide range of other damages. You can maximize your compensation when you work with an experienced and respected personal injury attorney who is a strong negotiator and experienced trial lawyer. Here are some of the damages that might entitle you to compensation.

Medical Bills

Your medical damages aren’t limited to just your emergency room bills. A serious fracture is likely to require surgery. You can seek compensation for the following:

  • Diagnostic costs like necessary x-ray, CT scan or MRI images.
  • The bills of the hospital, surgeon and anesthesiologist.
  • Physical therapy or rehabilitation costs.
  • Medications and treatment supplies.
  • Out-of-pocket expenses.

Lost Earnings

Assuming that you were unable to work for awhile after your accident and during your hospitalization or treatment, the law allows you to seek compensation for the earnings that you would have ordinarily gained. Those include lost wages, any bonuses or commissions or any other compensation that you receive from your employer. Pay stubs, tax returns or even a letter from your employer might be used to support your lost earnings claim. In some cases, an entire career can be derailed. That would be a claim for lost earning capacity. Proving lost earning capacity might require expert testimony from an economist or occupational expert.

Pain and Suffering

Serious personal injuries are painful. In the event of a surgery for a fracture, joint damage, organ damage or spinal injury, you’re likely to live with pain for the rest of your life. The law allows you to ask for compensation for pain and suffering. Unfortunately, that pain can’t be taken away, so the only way to compensate you for pain and suffering is with money. Any amount sought for pain and suffering should be consistent with the nature and extent of your injuries.

Permanent Disfigurement or Permanent Disability

If an accident victim suffered permanent disfigurement or disability, compensation can be sought for residual damages. Large and obvious scars, especially to the face, are quite compensable for reasons of both cosmetics and self-esteem. A plastic surgeon should be consulted on the cost of any procedures necessary to improve scarring. If there is an issue as to permanent disability, an orthopedic surgeon or neurologist should be consulted for the same purpose. Most doctors will render a written opinion and report for that purpose.Take notice that some scars can’t be removed and some brain, spinal cord, nerve, orthopedic and amputation injuries will remain permanent.

Concluding Remarks

Every personal injury case is different. When appropriate, damages like emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life or loss of consortium might also be sought. There are times when courts will even allow an injured person to ask for punitive damages.  If you suffered substantial injuries and damages, it’s highly unlikely that you will be offered the amount of compensation that you deserve. You have probably made mistakes along the way that can and will be used against you in a personal injury lawsuit in order to devalue your case. Preserve the value of your case by retaining a knowledgeable and effective personal injury attorney from the start.