A Complete Rundown of the Types of Personal Injury Cases for Compensatory Damages
When you are injured due to someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to injury compensation for medical bills, lost wages and more. If you or a loved one has been injured in any type of accident, it’s vital to know the types of compensatory damages you may be able to recover.
The focus of a personal injury lawsuit is to help restore the plaintiff to the position he or she would have been in had the injury not occurred. Damages are paid to a person as compensation for a loss or injury, and are intended to help "make the plaintiff whole.”
Motor vehicle accidents are among the most common causes of serious injury or death. According to the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles, there were 254,166 injuries sustained from auto-related accidents in Florida in 2016, with 2,093 of these injuries occurring in Hernando County alone.
According to The Ledger, a Lakeland doctor is suing Uber and his driver after being seriously injured in an auto accident in Tampa. Nathaniel Stephens, an ER physician at Lakeland Regional Health Medical Center who lives in Tampa, hired an Uber last November to take him and another doctor to dinner. Reports show that on Feb. 1 of this year, Stephens filed a lawsuit against Uber, driver Marqus Baker, and his brother Steven Baker, owner of the vehicle.
According to the article, “Dr. Stephens suffered internal injuries that caused him to undergo surgical procedures, be hospitalized for several days and miss work. He still has ongoing pain that requires him to take certain medications.”
In this case, not only can the driver potentially be held responsible for the sustained injuries, but the vehicle owner and the employer, Uber, may be found liable as well. However, no two personal injury cases are alike, so it is essential to seek the counsel of a skilled attorney who knows how to hold all responsible parties accountable for your injuries and seek accident compensation on your behalf.
Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
While injuries from car accidents are prevalent, people can be injured in many different situations. You or your family may be entitled to compensatory damages if you have suffered injury or death from the following:
- Vehicle accidents (including those involving tractor trailers, cars, motorcycles, golf carts, ATVs, bicycles or pedestrians)
- Dangerous conditions at a premises (often slip and fall accidents)
- Dog bite injuries
- Nursing home neglect or abuse
- Wrongful death
Types of Damages
The types of damages to which you may be entitled can vary depending on the type of case, circumstances of the injury and the laws of your jurisdiction. Typically, personal injury damages may include:
This is compensation for demonstrable financial losses, such as:
- past and future medical expenses
- loss of past and future earnings (lost wages)
- cost of repair or replacement of property
- domestic services such as housekeeping and child care
- loss of employment or business opportunities
- wrongful death
This provides compensation for non-monetary subjective losses, including:
- pain and suffering
- emotional distress
- loss of companionship/loss of consortium
These compensatory damages differ from Punitive Damages, which also can be applied to a personal injury case. However, punitive damages are not considered compensatory damages. Their purpose is to punish the defendant for particularly egregious, reckless or wrongful behavior and to act as a deterrent. The majority of the money from punitive damages go to the state rather than the victim or the victim's family.
Statute of Limitations
According to Florida Statutes section 95.11(3)(a), an injured party in most personal injury cases must file a lawsuit within four years of the date of the accident. A personal injury attorney who knows the ins and outs of Florida law can help to ensure that your case is handled professionally and in a competent and timely manner. He or she will assess your case, determine the best course of action, and devise an effective strategy to help you receive maximum compensation for your injuries.
In the case of a wrongful death lawsuit, the statute of limitations is two years from the date of death.
We Can Help
If you have been injured or have lost a loved one in an accident, you may be entitled to compensatory damages. Our experienced personal injury attorneys will work hard to protect your rights and to get you the compensation you deserve. For more information or to schedule a consultation, contact Lowman Law Firm in Hernando County at 352-796-0016 or call toll-free at 866-9-LOWMAN.