What Are the Three Types of Personal Injury Damages?

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When you have been hurt in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to receive compensation for your losses. But an accident can often be traumatic, affecting a victim in many ways beyond financial losses. Learn what types of damages are usually available in a personal injury case in New York and how a personal injury attorney can help you receive maximum compensation.

What Counts as Economic Damages?

Economic damages are tangible financial losses that directly result from your accident. The most common type of financial loss is medical bills. If you need to be taken to the hospital for emergency care or had a long recovery, including surgeries or rehabilitation, all those costs are considered economic damages.

Lost wages due to being unable to work and property damage bills (such as the cost of repairing or replacing a vehicle, for example) are other common examples of economic damages. This damage is easily quantifiable by presenting evidence such as bills and repair estimates.

What Constitutes Non-economic Damages?

Also referred to as “pain and suffering”, non-economic damages are the personal, subjective aspects of a personal injury claim. The pain and emotional distress an accident and injury can cause are hard to quantify but still profoundly affect a victim mentally and physically. Pain, suffering, mental anguish, and distress are examples of non-economic damages.

A personal injury attorney may sometimes employ the help of expert witnesses such as doctors or other specialists. This can help the court understand how the accident, injury, and recovery process affect the victim now and in the future.

What Kind of Cases Qualify for Punitive Damages?

The third type of personal injury damages is not available in every case. Still, it applies to cases where the root cause of the accident points to gross negligence by the defendant. Gross negligence is understood as acting or behaving recklessly or dangerously with extreme disregard for the safety of others.

When it is determined that a defendant has acted with gross negligence, an attorney may seek punitive damages in addition to standard damages. Punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant for reckless behavior and prevent similar conduct in the future.

How Can a Personal Injury Attorney Help?

The burden of proof in a personal injury case falls on the plaintiff. In order to maximize the compensation amount you may receive, working with an attorney is essential to help gather the proper evidence to prove your side of the story and support your case. If you have been hurt by someone else’s negligence, get the help of a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to secure the compensation you deserve.

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