An injury never happens at a convenient time. If it occurs as the result of an accident, it may cause enough damage to warrant missed time from work and accumulating medical bills.
How can you recover physically if you can’t afford to financially? One way is to file a personal injury lawsuit against the party who caused the damage to your body. In this type of action, a court listens to both sides, reviews the evidence, and then decides if your injury warrants a financial award. In this way, the court can help ease a difficult time. Find out about the different types of damages the court may award you.
Replacing What You Lost
The financial award the court most often awards in civil litigation like this are compensatory damages. These are meant to replace the money you lost either because of a lack of income or payment of bills. As part of your case, you will submit evidence of your financial losses. Every dollar you claim you lost must be documented. For example, you may want to get a letter from your human resources department detailing the wages and retirement account contributions missed while you were injured. You can also set a trend by furnishing pay stubs over six months. It is easy to get copies of medical bills and payments to demonstrate those losses. If the defendant is proven guilty, you will likely get compensatory damages awarded first.
Compensating You for Pain
While compensatory damages reimburse you, general damages are awarded to make up for what you lost. When your injury is particularly painful or caused emotional turmoil, you may request that the judge compensate you financially. There is no evidence that you can use to prove your pain or suffering. However, you may present evidence from doctors about the type of injury you sustained and the relative pain rating of it. This type of financial award is up to the judge’s discretion. However, you must first get compensatory damages awarded.
Punishing the Defendant
The final type of financial award has to do with the level of negligence the defendant exercised in the underlying incident that caused the injury. Punitive damages are meant to financially punish the defendant while offering you a large sum of money in an apology. Some states cap the amount of punitive damages a judge can award. These are excessive awards and usually available in extreme circumstances.
If you suffer a serious enough injury, filing a lawsuit may be your best course of action. Understanding the way the court issues financial awards may help you know what you can expect should you prevail. Contact an attorney, like a personal injury attorney in Indianapolis, IN from Ward & Ward Law Firm, today for advice on how to proceed.