What Damages Might Be Recoverable in a Personal Injury Case?
Tampa Personal Injury Truck and Car Accident Attorneys
You’ve probably seen plenty of Internet pop-ups and heard TV commercials from lawyers talking about the multimillion-dollar settlements they’ve won for clients. It might seem like the process is simple; after an injury, you hire a lawyer and they help you pursue a small fortune from the defendant. The truth, however, is that each case is unique. The types of damages that may be recoverable in one case—and their value—can vary dramatically from the next.
What Are Damages?
Simply put, damages are a monetary remedy that are paid to a claimant as compensation for their injuries. In order to recover damages from a defendant in a tort case, the defendant must be liable for your injury or loss. Liability is usually established by proving negligence, though it might also be established by proving intentional wrongdoing or strict liability.
Below we’ve outlined three categories of damages that might be available in a personal injury case: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
Economic damages are objectively verifiable costs like medical bills, damaged property, and lost income. You might think that calculating economic damages is fairly straightforward—and it may be if your injuries were minor, temporary, and you didn’t miss any work—but it is often necessary to employ complex formulas to approximate a fair figure for economic damages. This is especially true in cases that involve long-term or permanent disability. If this applies to you, your attorney might need to consult with an economist, vocational expert, and medical experts to estimate a fair value for your economic damages.
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are subjective in nature. They cannot be evidenced solely with documentation like receipts, paystubs, and invoices. In the state of Florida, potentially recoverable non-economic damages in personal injury cases include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life.
To help your lawyer prove non-economic damages, you should consider keeping a personal injury journal. Write about the various ways the injury is diminishing your quality of life. Perhaps it is keeping you from attending social events or familial activities. Maybe your symptoms are preventing you from sleeping. Make notes about the kinds of symptoms you experience, their severity, and their frequency.
Punitive damages are not awarded in most personal injury cases; they are reserved for cases that involve a defendant who acted with intentional misconduct or gross negligence. While economic and non-economic damages—together called “compensatory damages”—are intended to make the victim “whole” again, punitive damages are focused on punishing the defendant and deterring the same sort of behavior in the future.
Schedule a Free Consultation with a Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer
Our experienced attorneys can review the facts of your case, conduct a thorough investigation, and help you fight for the compensation you need to move on with life. Send us a message or call 813-440-2700 to request a free, no-obligation consultation with a Tampa personal injury attorney.