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A Look at Compensatory and Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases

If you’ve been injured in a car accident, slip and fall incident, dog attack, or other type of accident, you could be entitled to seek compensation for your injuries. Injury compensation near San Jose can help you recover from your economic and non-economic losses. Depending on your particular situation, your personal injury lawyer may also seek punitive damages when filing a personal injury claim. Your personal injury attorney must prove that the defendant is liable for your losses, in addition to proving the extent and severity of the damages.

Economic Damages

In the aftermath of a serious accident, an individual may suffer from economic and non-economic losses. Economic damages are intended to compensate a victim for measurable losses. For example, an accident victim may seek reimbursement for past medical expenses, along with compensation for future medical expenses. Victims may be entitled to reimbursement for property damage, such as the cost to repair a vehicle or replace property that was damaged beyond repair. Economic damages may also include lost wages and the loss of earning capacity, the latter of which refers to the diminished ability to earn wages in the future in light of your injuries.

Non-Economic Damages

In addition to economic damages, a personal injury lawyer may sue for non-economic damages. These are intended to compensate victims for immeasurable losses. For example, you may sue for emotional distress, which encompasses psychological injuries. If your injuries interfere with your ability to do day-to-day activities, you may sue for loss of enjoyment. Loss of consortium damages may be awarded to a family member, such as a spouse.

Punitive Damages

In a personal injury case, compensatory damages are intended to restore an accident victim to the state he or she was in prior to the accident or to the degree that restoration is possible. Sometimes, a jury may also award punitive damages, which are intended to punish the defendant for conduct that is considered to be extremely egregious. For example, if a tenant files a premises liability complaint against a landlord after suffering electrical burns from faulty wiring, the tenant may recover compensation for medical bills. However, the jury may also award punitive damages if the landlord had a history of numerous safety violations and failure to remedy unsafe conditions.

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