When you suffer injuries due to someone’s negligence, you’re entitled to financial compensation. Damages are the legal term for the settlement you can receive in a Hartford personal injury case. Although most victims are only interested in the total amount, you could receive different types of damages depending on your case.
In this article, Hartford personal injury lawyers at Aeton Law Partners will walk you through the different types of damages in a personal injury case. You will also discover the factors that determine your ability to recover these damages.
Types of Damages in a Hartford Personal Injury Case
Most times, all damages in a personal injury case fall into two separate categories; compensatory damages and punitive damages. In this section, we’ll be exploring their meaning and how you can receive these damages in your Hartford personal injury case.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
These damages refer to specific losses you incurred because of your injury. Compensatory damages are divided into two categories, namely special and general damages. Below is a breakdown of these categories to help you understand better.
These damages refer to the financial losses due to your accident. Another name for special damages is economic damages. These damages are calculated based on your medical bills and every other documentation that shows the direct costs of your injuries.
Special damages are usually quantifiable. Therefore your compensation depends on your economic losses. Below are some examples of special damages you can recover in a personal injury claim.
- Medical Expenses: This covers bills for emergency room care, surgical treatment, prescription medication, ambulance transport, hospitalization, physical therapy, mental health treatment, and many more.
- Lost Wages: This covers the days you won’t be able to work due to injuries suffered. Another factor determining your compensation for lost wages is how the injury has affected your ability to earn the same way as before.
- Out-of-Pocket Costs: This is compensation for the cost of traveling to and from all medical appointments. It also covers modifications you may have to make to your home or vehicle due to the injury. For example, if you purchased assistive devices because of the injury, the cost falls under special damages.
An expert personal injury lawyer can assist you in pursuing special damages for current and future losses. Future losses are usually the medical bills and loss of earning capacity you anticipate to occur. However, you will need evidence and expert testimony to receive compensation for future losses.
General damages differ extensively from special damages. These damages cover the non-financial losses personal injury victims suffer. Another name for this type of damages is non-economic damages. There is usually no specific dollar amount for general damages. Instead, the court calculates it based on the nature of your loss and the evidence provided.
In most cases, you can receive compensation for the following non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of consortium; this means loss of relation with dependent family members like spouse and children.
- Disfigurement and scarring
Personal injury laws recognize that the quality and enjoyment of life have value. Therefore, you can recover compensation for the adverse effect an accident has on your ability to live life like you used to.
What Are Punitive Damages?
There are many ways that punitive damages differ from compensatory damages. Unlike compensatory damages, punitive damages aren’t for compensating the victims. Instead, punitive damages penalize the defendant for their egregious acts.
Although compensatory damages in a Hartford personal injury case are calculated from the economic and non-economic damages the victim sustains, punitive damages are calculated based on the court’s discretion. However, punitive damages are uncommon in personal injury cases. This is because the burden usually falls on the victim to establish their right to punitive damages.
For compensatory damages, you only need to prove that the defendant was negligent. On the other hand, you have to prove malice or gross negligence by the defendant to receive punitive damages.
Contact a Hartford Personal Injury Lawyer Today
The most crucial step after any accident is contacting a Hartford personal injury lawyer. They help to determine the amount you can recover in a personal injury case. Our experienced personal injury lawyers have been aiding victims of negligent actions to recognize their legal rights and pursue compensation for damages for many years.
When you contact the skilled personal injury lawyers at Aeton Law Partners, they will review the details of your cases and discuss your options with you. So schedule a free consultation with us today.