What Are Damages?
If you find yourself in a position where you can file a personal injury lawsuit for a car accident, there is a lot you need to understand before you can decide whether filing is a good idea. It is very wise to speak with an car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN to learn more about what a personal injury lawsuit will entail. This guide, however, will explain the very important concept of damages. If you still have questions about defining the damages in your case, do not hesitate to contact and car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN.
In general, damages are essentially the ways the plaintiff has suffered. They determine that amount the defendant will have to compensate the plaintiff if the plaintiff wins the case. There are three types of damages, although only the first two relate to the plaintiff’s suffering. The third type, which is the odd one out, is completely unrelated.
Types of Damages
Let’s examine the three different types of damages. They are:
- Special compensatory damages – This type of damages corresponds to financial losses. If you are able to objectively name the exact dollar value of a loss, then it falls into the category of special compensatory damages. This category often includes medical bills, missed paychecks, injury-related purchases, and loss of earning ability.
- General compensatory damages – You can think of general compensatory damages as the opposite of special compensatory damages. While special damages relate to financial losses, general damages relate to non-financial losses. If it would be impossible to objective name an exact dollar value, then it falls into this category. This often includes things like pain and suffering, emotional turmoil, or disfigurement.
- Punitive damages – This is the category of damages that does not correspond to the plaintiff’s suffering. Instead, punitive damages are assigned by the judge when he or she thinks the defendant needs additional punishment. Punitive damages are rare in personal injury cases, because usually the injury is a result of an accident. If the defendant intentionally injured the plaintiff, then punitive damages are much more likely.
It is easy to determine how much your special compensatory damages will amount to. You simply need to add up how much money you have lost as a result of the injury. The judge will be the one to determine the value of your general compensatory damages. However, an car accident lawyer in Indianapolis, IN may be able to give you an estimate of what to expect. A legal professional will also be able to tell you whether you should expect punitive damages to be assigned.