Personal Injury Law Firm
The law holds those who cause injuries responsible for their actions, whether the injury was an accident or not. If you have been injured by someone else, you are guaranteed the right to be returned to the financial state you were in prior to the injury. However, this does raise the question of what expenses can actually be claimed in a personal injury case. This guide will explain the answer to this question.
Every expense, no matter what it is or how little it may be, can be claimed in a personal injury lawsuit. The only qualification is that the expense was a result of the injury. So if you had to pay $500 in medical bills, then you can claim that $500 in the case. Likewise, if you had to purchase a cane after the accident, you can be reimbursed for the cost of the cane. Any kind of expense can be claimed, including:
- Lost wages from missing work
- Loss of earning ability
- Damage to property
You can also claim non-financial losses, although that involves claiming a certain kind of damage.
Types of Damages
There are three types of damages. Personal injury cases commonly include two types, but rare include the third. Any expense you claim will fall into one of these categories. The types of damages are:
- Special compensatory damages
- General compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
If a loss had an objective monetary value, then it is a special compensatory damage. This means you can pinpoint its value to an exact dollar cost. For example, a $500 medical bill would fall into this category. If you win the case, the defendant would have to reimburse you the exact amount of money you lost.
If a loss does not have an exact monetary value, then it is a general compensatory damage. The most common type of damage in this category is called “pain and suffering,” although it can come in many different forms. You can be reimbursed for any physical pain you endured, as well as emotional trauma and other types of suffering. You can even be compensated if the injury led to a divorce. The judge will decide how much these losses are worth.
Punitive damages are strictly to punish the defendant, rather than to compensate the plaintiff. These damages are only assigned in cases where the defendant acted maliciously or especially irresponsibly. It is very rare to receive punitive damages in a personal injury case. If you have more questions, speak with a personal injury lawyer in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Thanks to Johnston Martineau, PLLP for their insight into personal injury cases and expenses you can include in your claim.