You can recover many different types of damages in a personal injury case, including coverage of past and future medical treatment, pain and suffering, and loss of wages. Contact an experienced Suffolk County personal injury lawyer for more details on potential awarded damages.
Personal injury damages you may be able to recover
New York § 5102 permits seriously injured plaintiffs to collect various types of personal injury damages, such as economic or actual damages, and non-economic or intangible damages.
Economic damages are your actual financial losses and consist of the following:
- All medical expenses for your injuries, like surgery, doctor’s appointments, and medications
- Durable medical equipment
- Modifications to your home or vehicle
- Property damage, to repair or replace your car
- Lost wages if you missed work to recover from your injuries
- Loss of earning potential, if your injuries impact your ability to continue in your line of work
Non-economic damages are intangible losses without a set amount. This type of damages includes things like:
- Pain and suffering from your injuries
- Mental health issues from the accident
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Partial or total disability
- Compromised independence
- Diminished quality of life
These damages may not be available in all personal injury cases. For example, in non-serious car accidents, you may not be able to collect non-economic damages because New York is a no-fault state for car accident cases. This means that each party files a claim with their own insurance company for medical bills and other losses, regardless of who caused the collision.
Not every personal injury case results in a punitive damages award, but in some cases, a jury may determine that the defendant exhibited exceptionally malicious or reckless behavior. These damages have a twofold purpose:
- Punish the egregious behavior
- Set an example that this type of intolerable action carries significant consequences
What are special damages in a personal injury case?
“Special damages” is just another way of saying “economic damages.” These are your straightforward expenses related to the accident and your injuries. Special damages include past, present, and future expenses related to your medical care and any personal care assistance you require, like a nursing home stay or in-home health care.
How are damages calculated in personal injury cases?
Special damages are easily calculated using receipts, medical care statements, and estimates from a car repair shop or your invoice for replacing a damaged vehicle. The estimates for future medical care are based on your doctor’s projections for your recovery and expert opinions on the impact of the accident on your future earning potential or other needs.
Your attorney calculates non-economic losses as a factor of the total of your special damages or actual losses. Your lawyer will use their experience and expertise to estimate the value of your general damages, although each case is different. Generally speaking, the more serious your injuries, the higher your non-economic damages will be since it’s presumed that more serious injuries cause more pain and suffering or have a greater impact on your quality of life.
Punitive damages are awarded by a jury. Your lawyer may assign a punitive damage value and request that number if your case goes to trial, although it’s exceptionally rare for punitive damages to be part of an out-of-court settlement.
Hurt in an incident that wasn’t your fault? We can help.
Do you need help pursuing fair compensation after an accident you didn’t cause? The Suffolk County personal injury attorneys at Carner & DeVita provide an analysis of your case and answer your questions in a free initial consultation. Schedule yours today by contacting our office online or calling (631) 543-7070.