For people who are injured through the negligence of others, there are many different kinds of relief available to help them. One of the things many people who are seriously injured pursue is something called compensatory damages.
What are compensatory damages and who can get them? It’s a complex legal topic, but one worth understanding when you are seriously injured through no fault of your own. Keep reading to find out more about these very important damages and if you may be entitled to them.
Compensatory Damages: What Are They?
Compensatory damages are settlements of a financial nature that are meant to reimburse a person for the harm caused by a party who is liable for an accident. In some cases, the responsible party for an accident may be one person, such as the driver of another vehicle. Yet in other cases, the responsible party may be a group or company, such as the owner of a building with a faulty elevator that caused you to be gravely injured.
In most cases, settlements in these cases will come from the insurance company of the responsible party, but insurance companies are not exactly known for being forthcoming with fair settlement offers. That’s why you need the help of an experienced attorney when dealing with insurance companies for an accident caused by another’s negligence.
Two Types of Damages
Compensatory damages can be broken down into two categories. They are:
Economic damages are the damages a person suffered that are reflected in things such as medical bills or loss of wages. In most cases, you are entitled to compensatory damages for economic losses you experience relating to the accident. Beyond medical bills and lost wages, this can include rehabilitation costs, surgery, benefits, and travel expenses.
If you were severely injured, resulting in the inability to work, you have the right to seek financial compensation.
Non-economic damages are damages that are not as easy to calculate as economic damages. That’s because they reflect how your life gets altered due to the accident.
Non-economic damages include factors such as loss of life quality or pain and anguish. The compensatory damages you receive in this category should reflect the negative changes that have impacted your physical and mental health.
Are Compensatory Damages the Same as Punitive Damages?
Compensatory damages are limited to economic and non-economic damages. Punitive damages are not the same since the role punitive damages play is to penalize the responsible party for their negligence in the hopes that they will not be negligent in the future.
Not every personal injury case will involve punitive damages. Most of the time, the courts understand that accidents happen. But when it becomes clear that the responsible party is aware of the damage, they are doing and intended to hurt someone or act maliciously. Punitive damages get awarded.
To get total compensation for your case, you need an experienced attorney to help guide you. These cases can be complex, and it’s important to remember that your future, and the damages you are entitled to, are on the line. You will not get a redo if you fail to have someone to advocate for you and your losses correctly, so don’t delay.