Personal Injury Blog

When you are injured as a direct result of someone else’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation. However, before you file that personal injury case, it’s important to know the types of damages you can recover in a personal injury case.

How does the legal system balance the different kinds of personal injury claims?Main Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

There are two major categories of damages that you can recover in personal injury cases:

Economic Damages

These are the most common types of damages that get recovered in a personal injury case. This category of damages covers compensation for things such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Since many medical bills or wage losses occur well after the personal injury case begins, economic damages can often include losses that are “reasonably certain” to occur in the future.

Non-Economic Damages

This category of damages covers many different intangible damages that you may suffer after an injury—such as pain and suffering, distress, psychological trauma caused by loss, and other factors not directly reflected in a medical bill or property loss report. It is often very difficult to prove non-economic damages or to measure the dollar value of these damages.

In some rarer cases, a third category of damages called punitive damages can be applied to a personal injury case. Punitive damages are only applied in cases where the defendant demonstrates a willful and reckless disregard by their actions, and most of the money in a punitive damage case goes to the state, not the victim.

As the name implies, punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant monetarily.


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How Claim Types Affect Your Personal Injury Case

There are many factors that can affect your personal injury claim. Where you were injured, the severity of the injury, circumstances of the injury, how quickly you file your case, and the degree to which you are deemed responsible for your own injury are just a few of the factors that can influence your case.

The type of claim or claims you file can have a significant impact on your case.

Economic Damage Claims

Generally speaking, economic damage claims are easier to prove and have a more predictable dollar amount—largely because they’re fixed at a portion of the provable damages you incurred as a result of your injury.

Non-Economic Damage Claims

Non-economic damages can be much less predictable—assuming you win them at all. Emotional/psychological trauma is much harder to prove and put a dollar value on. You may or may not be able to receive non-economic damages based on trauma related to your injuries.

Punitive Damages Claims

Punitive damages are much less common than the other claim types, so they’re not often considered. Also, the majority of a punitive damage claim goes to the state, not the injured party.

When To Consult with a Personal Injury Lawyer

When you’re considering filing a personal injury case, be sure to consult with a personal injury attorney at some point. While using an attorney doesn’t guarantee success in your personal injury lawsuit, that attorney can help you assess your case, organize evidence, and present your case before a judge or jury.

At Lowman Law Firm, we serve the Hernando County and Citrus County areas. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.

Damages in Personal Injury Cases FAQs

What is personal injury?

Personal injury refers to any physical or emotional harm caused by the negligent or intentional actions of another person, company, or entity. This can include injuries from car accidents, slip and falls, medical malpractice, and workplace accidents.

How do I know if I have a personal injury case?

If you have been injured due to someone else's actions or negligence, you may have a personal injury case. It is best to consult with a personal injury lawyer to assess the circumstances of your case and determine if you have grounds for a legal claim.

What kind of damages can I recover in a personal injury case?

You may be able to recover various types of damages in a personal injury case, including:

  • Medical expenses: This includes all costs related to your injury, including hospital bills, doctor's appointments, medication, and rehabilitation.
  • Lost wages: If you were unable to work due to your injuries, you may be entitled to compensation for lost income.
  • Pain and suffering: This refers to the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury.
  • Property damage: If your personal property was damaged in the incident, you may be able to recover the cost of repairs or replacement.
  • Punitive damages: In some cases, a court may award punitive damages as a way to punish the at-fault party for their actions and deter similar behavior in the future.

How are damages determined in a personal injury case?

The amount of damages awarded in a personal injury case depends on various factors, including the severity of your injuries, the impact on your daily life, and any potential long-term effects. An experienced personal injury lawyer can help you determine the appropriate amount of compensation to seek in your case.

Is there a time limit for filing a personal injury claim?

Yes, there is a time limit or statute of limitations for filing a personal injury claim. This varies by state, but it is important to consult with a lawyer as soon as possible after your injury to ensure you do not miss the deadline for filing.

What is the statute of limitations for Florida personal injury cases?

In Florida, the statute of limitations for personal injury cases is typically four years from the date of the incident causing the injury. This means that you have four years to file a lawsuit against the at-fault party. However, there are some exceptions to this rule. For example, in cases involving medical malpractice, the statute of limitations is just two years. It is crucial to consult with a Florida-based personal injury lawyer to understand the specific timeline applicable to your case and ensure you file your claim within the prescribed period. Failure to do so could result in the loss of your right to seek compensation for your injuries.

Do I need a lawyer for my personal injury case?

While it is possible to handle a personal injury case on your own, it is highly recommended to seek legal representation from an experienced personal injury lawyer. They can help you navigate the complex legal process, negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf, and fight for the maximum compensation you are entitled to receive. Additionally, having a lawyer by your side can also relieve some of the stress and burden of dealing with a personal injury claim, allowing you to focus on your recovery.

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