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Suffering a Personal Injury: What Type of Damages Can a Person Sue For?


Finding yourself on the receiving end of an injury is never an enjoyable experience, especially when the injury was caused by something that was out of your control. Personal injury legal matters are a specific type of law that can assist a person in the event of such an injury. This course of action can help a person receive financial compensation for their damages and bring about closure after an incident. 

Learn everything there is to know about the various damages a person can sue for in a personal injury case in order to understand what your own case may look like. 

What is Personal Injury Law? 

To those new with this form of law, personal injury or tort law refers to the event where one person is injured or harmed as a result of the negligent actions of another person. In some cases, a personal injury lawsuit could be applicable if a person’s property were damaged in conjunction as well, though personal injury generally focuses on injuries to a person’s body, emotions, or even reputation. 

Negligence 101

As indicated above, one of the primary principles of personal injury law is the existence of negligence. This term refers to actions on behalf of somebody which represent a disregard for the wellbeing and safety of those around them, or a general disregard for consequences of actions. Essentially, a person is negligent if another reasonable person in the same situation wouldn’t behave in the same manner. 

Common Types of Personal Injury Claims

There are a variety of situations in which a personal injury lawsuit may be applicable, but a few situations standout as the most common. These situations include:

  • Medical Malpractice: If it can be proved that a doctor performing some sort of procedure or giving general counsel acted in such a way that resulted in additional injury, it’s possible that the medical malpractice could count as personal injury. 
  • Slip and Fall Accidents: Another common situation in which personal injury law may apply is if one person slips and falls due to a location being improperly labeled or if they are pushed by another person on accident. 
  • Vehicle-on-Vehicle or Vehicle-on-Pedestrian Accidents: While car accidents are typically handled by insurance, there are certain instances in which a personal injury lawsuit may apply, such as if insurance doesn’t cover the full scope of your damages. 
  • Off-leash Animal Attacks: Finally, an owner who allowed their animal to go off-leash, only for that animal to choose to attack you unprovoked, could result in a personal injury lawsuit. 

Typical Damages Involved in a Personal Injury Case

While nobody ever wants to find themselves involved in a personal injury lawsuit as the injured party, it’s important to know the common damages people sue for. This can help a person identify if the injuries they experienced may qualify for a lawsuit. 

The most common types of damages in personal injury cases are broken down into two categories: compensatory and punitive. The former are damages which compensate plaintiffs for expenses, whereas the latter are damages which reimburse plaintiffs for their expenses. The four common categories within these categories include: 

1. Medical Bills and Expenses

Damages related to medical bills or medical expenses are among the most common types of damages. As indicated by the name, they are costs directly associated with medical expenses such as surgery, doctor visits, ongoing treatment, and other similar expense types. 

2. Lost Wages

Lost wages are a unique form of damages and relate to amounts of money that a person lost because they were injured and unable to work. If the injury was intensely severe to this degree, a judge may rule that the defendant needs to compensate the plaintiff for the money they lost out on due to not being able to work. In severe cases where a person can never work again due to their injury, ongoing payments may be required on behalf of the defendant. 

3. Pain and Suffering

Serving as a more niche form of damages, expenses related to pain and suffering are those which resulted from physical discomfort or emotional distress. Any type of pain, anguish, inconvenience, or emotion trauma could qualify as pain and suffering damages depending on the situation. 

4. Incidental Expenses

Finally, the last common form of damages seen are those related to incidental expenses. This could include expenses related to a rental car that a person needed to drive due to their vehicle being totaled, an insurance deductible that was required to be paid out, meals that a person was forced to pay for because they couldn’t cook due to their injury, or other similar smaller expenses. Incidental expenses can be difficult to calculate as few people actively focus on remembering the expenses they accumulate over the course of their injury. 

Personal Injury Resulting from a Car Accident: Is Insurance Better? 

The question of whether to settle through insurance or take a further step and pursue a personal injury lawsuit depends on the severity of an accident and how much you have been compensated. Should that compensation not be just based on what you have suffered, following up an insurance claim with a personal injury lawsuit may be a smart choice.

In certain no-fault insurance states such as Florida, the PPI insurance drivers are required to have likely won’t pay out pain and suffering expenses or similar types of costs. For these states in particular, it is quite common to see personal injury lawsuits occur due to this reason. 

The Bottom Line

A person’s life can change in an instant if they are involved in a serious accident. Even minor accidents can result in injuries which takes years, potentially, to resolve completely. While receiving financial compensation through a personal injury lawsuit for your damages won’t solve the problem, it can certainly help offset some of the issues. Reach out to an accredited personal injury lawyer today in order to see if your case warrants a personal injury lawsuit.

What Type of Damages Can a Person Sue For? How does a personal injury attorney help in an accident case? Does car insurance cover all issues of an accident? Traffic, Travel, Automobile accident


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