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The Types of Damages Available in a Personal Injury Claim

The Different Types of Damages You Can Pursue in a Personal Injury Case

Accident victim in gurneyWhen you have been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness or negligence, it can have an impact on every aspect of your life. Even if your injuries are not life-threatening or don’t seem that serious, they can limit your daily activities, leave you in constant pain, or force you to stop doing things you enjoy. It’s important to know the full range of damages you can seek in a personal injury lawsuit.

Compensatory Damages

The vast majority of damages in a personal injury action are designed to “compensate” you for a loss. Generally, though, compensatory damages fall into two categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.

Economic damages are those that represent a specific, easily quantifiable, loss. For example, any lost wages or income suffered because the injury prevents you from working would be an economic loss, as would all medical expenses incurred. You are entitled to compensation for any medical expenses already received, as well as any treatment subsequently required because of the accident. However, if medical expenses are paid by your insurance company, you won’t be able to personally recover those costs, as you did not incur them.

Other economic damages can include any property loss, or any other out-of-pocket expense incurred because of the accident

Non-economic damages are those losses that are more difficult to quantify, but nonetheless a result of the wrongful act. Non-economic damages include compensation for pain and suffering, for loss of companionship or consortium, for emotional distress, and for the loss of enjoyment of activities in which you can no longer participate.

Punitive Damages

A separate type of damages seeks to punish the wrongdoer or to act as a deterrent to others who might engage in similar conduct. As a general rule, these damages are referred to as punitive damages. Punitive damages are seldom awarded, and typically require that the defendant engaged in egregious, outrageous, or wantonly negligent behavior.

Contact the Law Office of Michael J. Hood

At the law office of Michael J. Hood, in Wilmington, we bring more than 30 years of experience to personal injury victims in Delaware. For a free initial consultation, contact us online or call our office at 302-777-1000 for an appointment.

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