The term "damages" in relation to a personal injury case refers to the amount of money claimed or awarded in compensation for a loss or an injury. In order to maximize the award, it is important to take into account all damages suffered by the victim.

The types of damages can be broken down as follows:

Compensatory Damages

Special Damages

  • Medical costs. Reimbursement for medical care received at the time of the incident and any care required in the future.
  • Loss of Income. Compensation for your loss of salary, wages, and ability to earn money in the future. Award factors in future income.
  • Loss of property. Fair market value compensation for vehicles, clothing, or other items damaged directly by the accident.

General Damages

  • Pain and suffering. Compensation for any serious discomfort experienced during and immediately after the accident, long-term effects included.
  • Emotional distress. Linked to "pain and suffering" in some states. Compensation for any psychological trauma relating to the incident.
  • Loss of enjoyment. Compensation for loss of the ability to take part in day-to-day activities like hobbies, exercise, etc.
  • Loss of consortium. Loss of consortium typically refers to the plaintiff's loss of companionship or inability to maintain a sexual relationship with their spouse. Some states also factor in damaged relationships between parent and child for this kind of compensation.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are unrelated to specific cases, instead focusing on the behavior of the defendant overall. In cases where the defendant's conduct is found to be particularly negative or careless, they will be required to pay punitive damages. While considered a form of compensation, their real purpose is to punish the negligent party for their irresponsibility.

The partners at O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley have more than 50 years of experience protecting the rights of victims. We have successfully negotiated thousands of cases and have tried and presided over more than 250 jury trials. Our experience and courtroom skills are unparalleled. Review our Verdicts and Settlements

If you have been seriously injured due to someone else's negligence, contact an experienced personal injury attorney at the law offices of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley today. We provide free consultations in order to evaluate your case and discuss the legal options available to you.

Published on behalf of O'Connor, Runckel & O'Malley LLP, July 30, 2015

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