Have you been injured because of someone’s wrongdoing? If so, if you win a lawsuit for your injury, you are entitled to damages or a sum of money. Damages are typically divided into two categories: compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory damages pay the injured person, and punitive damages punish the other party for their negligence. The average personal injury settlement can vary between $3,000 and $75,000.

Keep reading to learn more about the types of compensatory damages to help you prepare for your personal injury case.

What Are Compensatory Damages?

Compensatory damages are just what they sound like—they compensate the plaintiff for injury, damages, and other losses. To receive these damages, the plaintiff must prove the loss and that it was because of the defendant. A few case examples with compensatory damages include auto accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and pedestrian accidents.

The plaintiff must also quantify the amount of loss for the judge. This includes various types of damages. 

Different Types of Compensatory Damages

There are many expenses that fall under the compensatory damages category. Let’s take a look at each type of compensatory damage.

General Compensatory Damages

These are non-monetary damages in the personal injury claim. There are no specific amounts. Instead, these are calculated by an attorney or jury.

These types of general damages include:

  • Mental anguish
  • Emotional duress
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of companionship

While this amount varies based on the person and the injury, most personal injury victims receive some compensation for these general damages.

Lost Wages

If the accident puts a person out of work for any amount of time, lost wages cover the money they would have earned during this time. This is money you would have earned if you were not injured like:

  • Bonuses
  • Overtime
  • Sick and vacation days
  • Tips
  • Other perks like a gym membership, company vehicle, etc.

You can calculate this using your company paycheck, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly.

This also includes loss of future earnings. This is for when you can’t return to work or you have to take a lower-paying job because of a disability from the accident.

Special Compensatory Damages

The next category covers economic damages which include current and future medical bills. These have an actual dollar amount, so the final amount is easier to determine.

Special damages reimburse the victim for money lost and help cover any expenses related to this injury including:

  • Medical bills (past, current, and future)
  • Rehabilitative therapy
  • Medical equipment
  • Home healthcare expenses
  • Costs associated with altered plans like canceled trips

These damages can vary significantly based on the individual’s injury and lifestyle.

Compensatory Damages vs Punitive Damages

In addition to these compensatory damages, you may also be eligible for punitive damages. What’s the difference? These damages punish the negligent party to deter from harmful behavior in the future.

These damages aren’t always an option for all cases, but in the most extreme cases, it may be an option. A personal injury attorney will let you know which damages apply to your case and give you a place to get started.

Get the Help You Need

Life is stressful, and being in any kind of accident can be a lot to handle. Now that you know the types of compensatory damages, you can talk to your personal injury attorney to get the compensation you deserve.

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