Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case in Florida
The Law Offices of Michael D. Stewart
When you are injured in an accident caused by the negligence or fault of another, you are entitled to a number of types of monetary recovery. After your lawyer has negotiated with the insurance company or filed a lawsuit and proved that the defendant breached a duty to you by injuring you, the types of damages recoverable and their amount needs to be determined.
When a settlement is reached with the insurance company or companies, the amount recoverable is often dependent on the insurance policy limits. In court the amount recoverable can be proved to a jury.
The types of damages generally recoverable are:
- Compensatory Damages. This is monetary recovery for things such as money for medical bills, lost wages from the time you were unable to work due to the injury, damages to property, and future medical bills, such as from ongoing physical or emotional therapy. Compensatory damages include past and future effects of the injury on the victims physical and psychological health, disfigurement, past and future physical pain, mental distress, lost future earning capacity, loss of domestic or household services or consortium (see below). Compensatory damages include economic damages and non-economic damages (pain and suffering).
- Pain and Suffering. This is the money you are entitled to for the physical pain you have and will endure, as well as mental suffering due to the injury.
- Loss of Consortium. This is monetary recovery for the damage caused by being unable to have a loving relationship with your husband or wife, or your family due to the effects of the injury. This is also referred to as loss of companionship.
- Punitive Damages. Punitive damages are available in those cases where the tortfeasor, or one who caused the injury, did so on purpose (intentional tort) or at least with reckless disregard of the consequences.