Personal Injury: Compensatory Damages

Personal injury torts are some of most prevalent legal actions in the American civil court system. In fact, the United States District Courts, which are the federal court forum for civil tort resolution, took on a collective caseload of 36,469 personal injury cases in the year 2007. In these personal injury cases, plaintiffs will seek personal injury compensatory damages from defendants on the grounds that defendants somehow caused personal injuries and other fiscal damages. The process of determining personal injury compensatory damages are intricate and highly individualized to a given case and the extent of the injuries incurred, however, a brief overview, in general terms, can give personal injury victims a good idea of the types of compensation they can rightfully claim following a personal injury.

If you may need legal assistance with a Personal Injury matter , consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in your area to receive a free case review.

First, a basic overview of the types of accidents or incidents that will constitute a personal injury claim must be established. In American tort law, a personal injury claim to compensatory damages can arise from any incident, accident, or negligence that causes an individual some form of injury or detriment, whether physical, mental, psychological, emotional, or fiscal. Given the completely unpredictable nature and circumstances surrounding accidents, an infinite number of incidents can be the impetus of a personal injury tort claim.

Some of the more common forms of successfully pursued personal injury compensatory damages claims include:

During a personal injury civil case, a personal injury lawyer will seek to prove the necessary elements to prove the defendant’s actions or failure to act was the impetus of the detrimental events and injuries experienced by the plaintiff in a case. In civil law, the burden of guilt on the defendant must be proven by a plaintiff and a plaintiff’s legal team by the preponderance of the evidence, or according to applicable state laws. Each states carries differing statues in regards to proving negligence in a personal injury claim, as in most instances, neither party proves exclusively negligent, as often seen in cases such as traffic accidents. In these instances, each state has differing laws on offering compensatory damages based on the percentage of negligence each party is assessed to have. Only a personal injury lawyer will be completely versed in the local and state laws applicable to an individual’s personal injury claims and the best method to pursue these claims and retain personal injury compensation damages.

The nature of personal injuries is the ulterior detriments that these injuries can leave in an individual’s life. The damages done by defendants do not simply disappear once an accident scene is cleared or an incident is no longer in contention, but rather victims must adjust their lives and physical health greatly to cope with personal injury torts. Accordingly, victims are subject to compensatory damages by parties found negligent or liable in the personal injuries incurred by victims. Many times, these injuries will continue for years to come, and in turn, compensatory damages must address this supportable fact.

Some of the types of personal injury compensatory damages a victim can request from defendants include:

  • Restitutionary damages
  • Punitive damages
  • Nominal damages
  • Statutory damages
  • Special damages
  • General damages

Of all the aforementioned personal injury compensatory damages, victims will seek to rectify all their financial losses incurred during a personal injury accident, such as medical costs, property damages, loss of wages, and continued medical and rehabilitation costs. Additionally, civil courts provide compensation for physical and psychological pain and suffering from personal injury events found to be the proximate cause of this pain. Civil court awards will also sometimes award punitive damages for grievous, wanton, reckless, or malicious personal injury cases where a victim suffers great harm from the defendant’s actions. Statutory damages are also categorized alongside punitive damages in that even if a defendant is found in violation of a given statute, they must pay a legally mandated fine for their actions. Nominal damages are awarded in personal injury cases where the violations are technically in breach of tort law, however, the damages incurred by plaintiff’s are negligible at best, which result in damages payments of little or no value, but rather are symbolic in nature.

The process of garnering compensation for a personal injury entails legal footwork, litigation, and potentially courtroom representation by a personal injury lawyer. For victims of personal injury torts, the law reserves your right to compensation for any and all injuries by defendants that prove negligent or liable for their actions or lack of action that led to your pain and suffering. A personal injury lawyer can help.

If you may need legal assistance with a Personal Injury matter , consult with a Personal Injury Attorney in your area to receive a free case review.
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