Winning a personal injury case can be a tremendous relief, but understanding the breakdown of compensation as the plaintiff can be its own challenge. The legal term for the compensation you seek after winning a personal injury case is called “damages.” Becoming familiar with the different categories of damages can help you negotiate the terms of your settlement.

After a successful personal injury case, there are two main branches of damages you might receive: Compensatory and punitive damages.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages reimburse, or compensate, costs or suffering incurred due to an injury. These damages are paid out in almost every personal injury case. Compensatory damages are typically broken down into subcategories: special and general damages.

  • Special Compensatory Damages are unique to each victim and typically cover monetary expenses or lost funds due to the nature of an injury. Special damages, often called “economic damages,” can cover any loss directly related to the injury and there is no limit on the number of claims. Some common examples of special compensatory damages are:
    • Loss of earnings or future earnings
    • Medical bills
    • Cost of future medical care, and
    • Household expenses
  • General Compensatory Damages compensate a victim with non-quantifiable or non-monetary damages due to an injury. It is typically expected that a victim will have some general damages to account for. Some of these damages might include:
    • Pain and suffering
    • Lower quality of life
    • Physical disfigurement, and
    • Loss of enjoyment

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are much less common than compensatory damages and are only awarded when the wrongful behavior of the defendant was the cause of the injury to the plaintiff. Punitive damages are designed to punish the wrongdoer and are often awarded in cases that include aggravated battery, sexual assault, or widespread fraud.

Wrongful Death Damages

Wrongful death damages are awarded to surviving family and loved ones of a victim. These damages are unique and often include compensatory damages. Common damages in this category include:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of financial contribution
  • Emotional pain and suffering of family members, and
  • Loss of companionship

If you or your family member has been a victim of someone else’s negligence, let us help you receive the compensation you deserve. Ted Babbitt, Florida personal injury lawyer, has over five decades of experience working on personal injury cases in West Palm Beach, Florida and throughout the United States. He has obtained several multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements for victims and their families. His team will give you an honest assessment of your case and explain your legal options. Fill out this online form or call today – (561) 375-2841.