What Are the Different Types of Damages that Are Available?
When you’ve been injured because of the careless or negligent acts of another person, you have a right to file a lawsuit, or legal claim, to recover compensation for any losses you suffered as a result of the wrongful acts. The legal term of this type of compensation is “damages.” What are the different types of damages available in a personal injury lawsuit? What losses can you seek to have paid by the at-fault party?
Compensatory vs. Punitive Damages
At the highest level, damages are considered to be either compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages are those intended to reimburse you or pay the cost of any actual harm or loss. Punitive damages, on the other hand, are primarily intended as a punishment of the defendant for actions deemed unacceptable in civilized society. As a practical matter, punitive damages are rarely awarded—most damages arising out of personal injury litigation are compensatory damages.
The Different Types of Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are further divided into what are referred to as “economic” and “non-economic” damages:
- Economic damages are those can typically be determined based on a concrete or easily identifiable value. The economic damages available in a personal injury lawsuit include:
- Lost wages, as determined by such factors as prior earnings, age, expected work life and potential raises, bonuses or other benefits
- Unreimbursed medical expenses, as documented by medical bills
- Property damage or loss, as calculated by the replacement costs or costs of repair to property
- Non-economic damages are generally less tangible, typically unrelated to either financial expenditures or lost revenues. The non-economic damages potentially available in a personal injury claim include:
- Loss of enjoyment of life—the inability to either do the routine things of daily life or to participate in activities that brought you joy, contentment or satisfaction before the accident
- Loss of companionship or consortium—the inability to establish or maintain close personal and/or intimate relationships with family due to your injuries
- Pain and suffering—Any traumatic or chronic physical or emotional suffering caused by the accident
Contact New Jersey Personal Injury Attorney Matthew V. Markosian
At the office of attorney Matthew V. Markosian, we provide a free initial consultation to anyone with a potential personal injury claim. To set up a private meeting, call our offices at 609-455-2090 or contact us by email. We are available evenings and weekends, upon request. Because of our proven record of success, many of our new cases come to us as referrals from other attorneys, or from former clients.
We handle all personal injury cases on a contingency basis. We won’t bill you attorney fees unless we recover compensation for your losses.
Serving Clients in Princeton Junction and across the State of New Jersey
We Know the Potential Impact of a Personal Injury