Injured victims may claim different types of damages when they file a civil lawsuit. The experienced lawyers at Saperstein Law Group can help you understand the types of damages you may claim in a civil lawsuit.
General Damages and Special Damages
The two primary categories of civil damages are general damages and special damages. General damages refer to the non-quantifiable and more subjective losses an accident victim suffers during an accident. Special damages are those losses that are reducible to a numerical value. These damages are more objective and are often calculated by referring to medical bills, pay stubs, and other documentary evidence.
Punitive damages are not always awarded in civil cases. The court will award punitive damages if it finds that the defendant committed conduct that was wanton, willful, or malicious. These damages are designed to punish the defendant. Also, punitive damages are designed to deter the defendant from committing the same egregious conduct in the future.
In many cases where the court awards punitive damages, the defendant commits a wrong that harms society as a whole. For example, a chemical company may release toxins into a river that cause harm to every resident who owns property along the shoreline.
The Most Common Types of Damages in Civil Lawsuits
Every civil lawsuit is unique. No two cases have the exact same set of facts. Therefore, speaking with a knowledgeable personal injury lawyer is essential if you want to learn more about the types of damages you can claim in your case.
The following are some of the most common types of damages accident victims may claim in civil lawsuits:
- Medical bills
- Property damage
- Emotional distress
- Pain and suffering
- Lost earnings
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Lost earning capacity
- Automobile repair bills
This is not an exhaustive list of damages that accident victims may claim. Sometimes a family member dies during an accident, and the surviving family members will bring a wrongful death action. In these cases, the damages may be different from those listed above.
Calculating the Total Damages Amount
Individual records and documents are the most useful tools for calculating special damages. Due to their specific nature, special damages are oftentimes quantifiable. For example, medical bills and medical records can be used to calculate the total medical expenses an accident victim has paid due to their injuries.
General damages are less quantifiable because they are often based on the subjective experience of the injured victim. The amount of physical and emotional pain an individual experiences during an accident can vary based on a person’s age and physical condition. These damages are often debated and analyzed by the parties during litigation. Settlement negotiations are oftentimes about the correct amount of general damages.
Contact Saperstein Law Group Today to Schedule a Free Consultation
The total amount of damages you may claim in a civil lawsuit will depend on the facts and circumstances of your case. Reach out to the Saperstein Law Group today to schedule a free consultation. We can help you with every aspect of your personal injury case. Call us today so we can discuss the facts of your case and help you understand how to enforce your legal rights.