If you or someone you love were injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation. Compensatory damages are often awarded in two categories. The first category, called actual compensatory damages, costs you will incur as the result of your injuries. These will include medical care and other out-of-pocket expenses.
The second category, called compensatory general damages, includes damages that do not have an out-of-pocket component. These are typically based on the severity and extent of your injuries and include damages such as physical and emotional pain and suffering and other provable, but intangible, financial losses.
In This Article
- Examples of Recoverable Compensatory Damages
- Compensatory Versus Punitive Damages
- Get Your No-Cost Case Review Today
Examples of Recoverable Compensatory Damages
If you or someone you love were injured in an accident that is able to be attributed to the negligence, recklessness, or carelessness of another person or entity, you could be eligible to recover compensatory damages via a personal injury insurance claim or lawsuit.
According to Investopedia guidelines, actual compensatory damages include:
- Medical bills
- Lost wages
- Required medication
- Therapy and rehab
- In-home medical support
- Property damage or loss
- Funeral and burial costs, if applicable
In addition to actual compensatory damages, you might also be able to recover general compensatory damages. These include:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Emotional trauma
- Impaired quality of life
In wrongful death cases, general compensatory damages will include your loss of companionship, guidance, support, society, and consortium (Consortium refers to the special types of loss, recognized by law, that a person suffers when their spouse is a wrongful death victim.).
A personal injury lawyer in your area will collect bills, receipts, and other documents that accurately assess your recoverable damages. Your lawyer will also work tirelessly to build the strongest case possible against the negligent party for financial compensation.
Proving the At-Fault Party’s Negligence
Personal injury cases that typically result in the injured party requesting compensatory damages include:
- Car accidents
- Truck accidents
- Slip-and-fall accidents
- Dog bite or attack cases
- Medical malpractice cases
- Wrongful death cases
To hold the at-fault party responsible for your compensatory damages, New York State law will require that your lawyer prove, on your behalf, that the at-fault party was negligent and that negligence was the cause of your injuries. . The legal requirements of negligence include:
- Duty of care
- Breach of duty
Your attorney will work hard to compile the evidence that proves the legally required elements of negligence. Your attorney will also organize your evidence and present it to the at-fault party and their insurance company along with a demand letter for financial compensation.
Evidence That Supports Your Request for Compensation
When you request compensation for your injuries and the expenses that stem from them, the negligent party and their legal or insurance representative will request proof of:
- The cause of the accident
- Their client’s negligence
- The value of your request
In personal injury cases, the weight of the evidence might steer your case toward a monetary settlement rather than a trial. In fact, most personal injury cases are settled out of court after the evidence is evaluated.
Evidence that supports your compensation request includes:
- Accident or incident reports
- Medical records and bills
- Written prognosis
- Proof of income
- Accident scene photos
- Photos of your injuries
- Witness statements
On your own, it might be difficult to obtain all the evidence needed to substantiate your case since it will come from a variety of people, places, facilities, and official agencies. An experienced, dedicated and – to optimize your convenience – local lawyer will collect and organize the evidence your case requires.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-932-0400
Compensatory Versus Punitive Damages
In some personal injury cases, compensation requests will include punitive damages. Punitive damages are rarely awarded. When they are, they are not based on any form of tangible or intangible financial expenses or losses you incurred because of the accident.
Instead, punitive damages are intended to penalize the at-fault party for actions that are:
In addition to penalizing the at-fault party, punitive damages are often awarded to discourage repeat actions on the part of others.
Proving Your Right to Punitive Damages
If the circumstances of your personal injury case warrant receipt of punitive damages, the lawyer who represents you will add them to your request for compensation. Your lawyer will also include proof of the at-fault party’s actions in the evidence file created for you.
This evidence will include witness statements and other records that point to the at-fault party’s actions and intentions. Your lawyer will explain which evidence indicates egregious actions on the part of the at-fault party.
Get Your No-Cost Case Review Today
If you or a loved one were injured in an accident, our personal injury law firm will work hard to fight for the compensation you deserve from the at-fault party. We will explain what compensatory damages are, how we assign a value to yours, and how we handle the settlement negotiation process on your behalf.
Contact one of our Friedman & Simon, L.L.P. team members for a free initial review of your personal injury case by calling today.