When a person is injured by another, the law provides a means of seeking compensation. This compensation, known as damages, is for the detrimental physical, economic, and emotional effects these injuries cause during a victim’s life. The law seeks to use personal injury damages to return the victim to his/her quality of life prior to the injury. Therefore, all of the above factors are considered worthy of compensation under personal injury law.
When awarding personal injury damages, a judge or jury may find the defendant liable for several types of damages including compensatory damages, punitive damages, and nominal damages.
These include economic and non-economic damages and are awarded to compensate the victim for injuries suffered to his/her person, property, or mental state.
Economic Damages include medical bills, lost earnings, and property damages.
Punitive Damages– Non-economic Damages are awarded if the plaintiff experiences significant and continuous pain and suffering due to her injury.
Loss of consortium, which is an action that may only be brought by the spouse of a deceased victim, is another form of non-economic damages.
These, also known as exemplary damages, are awarded primarily to punish the defendant instead of compensating the plaintiff. The law typically reserves punitive judgments for criminal acts. However, there is a social policy behind awarding punitive damages in a civil case. The purpose is to dissuade, or discourage, the repetition of unsavory (unethical) behavior by the defendant or others in similar future circumstances.
Nominal damages are the least common personal injury damages. A jury may award nominal damages if the plaintiff fails to offer proof of damages or the jury decides not to recognize the plaintiff’s evidence of damages. In these situations, the jury will award a nominal (small) amount as damages, typically one dollar.
Contacting a Personal Injury Lawyer
If you believe you or a loved one is owed personal injury damages because of the wrongful actions of another, call a personal injury lawyer at The Rothenberg Law Firm LLP at 1-800-624-8888 or submit an online questionnaire. The initial consultation is FREE of charge. If we agree to handle your case, we will work on a contingency fee basis. This means we get paid for our services only if there is a monetary recovery of funds.
In many cases, a lawsuit need be filed before an pending expiration date, known as a Statute of Limitations. Therefore, it is essential to your claim’s success to call right away to ensure you do not forgo your right to possible compensation.