How Damages Are Assessed for a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Have you been injured due to the negligence of a person, group, or company? If so, you have a right to be fully compensated for your injuries, but how those injuries relate to a settlement or judgment amount can be difficult to understand. There are actually different types of damages, and they are calculated in different ways.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are monies that you are entitled to based on verifiable, definable losses. For a personal injury case, this is going to be all of the financial impacts of the accident. This can include medical bills, necessary ongoing or future medical treatment, loss of wages because you were unable to work, or property damage that occurred at the same time as the injury.

Medical treatment that you have already received can be calculated easily by adding up the costs of the treatment. Future or ongoing medical treatment can be more difficult to calculate, but can be estimated based on the treatment recommendations and prognosis given by the doctors on the case. Loss of wages is also very easy to calculate, as it is to replace the money you lost during your recovery. If your injury caused you to have to change careers, work less, or work for less pay, you could get additional income loss damages that might be more difficult to pinpoint.

There are also some compensatory damages that may be awarded that are more arbitrary to calculate. Non-economic damages are for things like pain and suffering, which can be very difficult to put a number on, and is ultimately up to the finder of fact (typically a juror) to decide the value of the damages. 

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rarely awarded in Florida personal injury cases. However, if you can prove that the defendant intentionally caused harm, you may be able to receive punitive damages. The judge will usually decide what these will be and will base the amount on what will punish the defendant.

If you are not sure about what compensation you are owed, contact us today for more information or to schedule your free consultation.