Damages in Irvine Personal Injury Cases
Damages refer to the compensation that an individual is entitled to, based upon his or her particular injuries. The following is information on the different types of damages you may be entitled to and examples of when this type of damage comes into play. To learn more or discuss what damages you may be entitled to consult with an Irvine personal injury lawyer today.
Economic damages are compensation that the injured plaintiff can claim such as medical expenses and loss of earnings. They generally include damages where there is a bill, invoice, or itemization that is documented. Some examples of economic damages include the following:
The damages and compensation in a personal injury case are presented depending on the specific injuries sustained and are set forth in different categories, the first of which would include the nature and extent of the injuries.
Related to the medical injuries and treatment would be the medical expenses that are incurred. These would include the ambulance, treatment you received at the emergency room and then follow up with your family doctor, specialist or surgeon, if surgery was involved. Depending upon the type of injuries obviously dictates the specialist that becomes involved, such as the injured victim, an orthopedic surgeon, neurologist for a head injury and other medical specialists.
Loss of Earnings
The next category of damages would be loss of earnings or loss of income for the time that is out of work as a result of the injuries. This would also include any vacation time or sick time that was used while out of work. The time off while recuperating could have affected your bonus, compensation, depending upon the nature of the type of work performed. In addition, there may be a loss of future earnings, if the injured party will need time off work to have a necessary surgery and recuperate. These are all important factors that go into evaluating the loss of earnings and loss of income.
Another of damage is property damage. An example of a property damage loss is a motor vehicle accident where the vehicle sustained damage or is totaled. The damages are the actual cost of repair or replacement of the vehicle. For other types of personal injury cases such as a fall, clothing might have been damaged or destroyed.
In a motor vehicle accident, personal property such as a laptop computer in the car and the force of the impact damaged your laptop. This is a personal property item which should be repaired or replaced because of the accident. These different categories of damages need to be evaluated carefully and completely by a personal injury lawyer to maximize the recovery and compensation for the client.
The next category of damages relates to pain and suffering and emotional distress. These are called non-economic damages and are compensation for pain and suffering and emotional distress. This includes the compensation that the injured plaintiff is entitled to receive for the actual physical and emotional pain that they have suffered from a particular accident or injury. Non-economic damages can include compensation for the actual pain that a plaintiff sustained from a broken arm or leg, or a head, neck or back injury along with the amount of pain that the individual experiences as a result of these injuries.
Obviously, when someone has a serious injury, they will have a certain amount of physical pain and individual suffering. That is totally dependent upon the individual and the particular, physical situation related to the pain such as a head injury or fracture or neck or spine injury.
Emotional distress, on the other hand, includes anxiety, worry, and despair that an individual feels as a result of being injured. For example, if you are injured and are worried about not being able to return to work because of your injuries, that is a type of emotional distress because you are anxious about what will happen to your job security because you have to take off from work, as well as how will you pay for your living expenses. Compensation for such distress falls under non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are also called exemplary damages. The concept behind punitive damages is that if the defendant’s conduct was so egregious, additional damages over and above the economic and non-economic damages of the plaintiff can be awarded to make an example of this particular defendant. The rationale is to deter others in the future from engaging in similar acts or conduct.
An example would be an intoxicated or drunk driver. An intoxicated driver who knowingly consumes alcohol or uses recreational drugs and then gets behind the wheel of their car and drives on the highway and inflicts injuries on someone else can be held liable for punitive damages. We all know from experience that an intoxicated or impaired driver cannot operate a vehicle in the same manner as if they were in a normal condition. The personal injury plaintiff can claim punitive damages to make an example out of the particular defendant to claim damages over and above regular ordinary damages.