Accidents are accidents; they happened unplanned. When it happens to a person, it causes confusion, physical pain and mental anxiety including the family and loved ones. If it happens, then you are in a dilemma whether to pursue a case or not. Should you choose to file a lawsuit or not? Is it worth it? How far can Personal Injury Law protect you?
What is Personal Injury Law?
Personal Injury cases begin when the aggrieved party files a case against a person who caused the slip and fall, car accident, etc. Typically, though, before filing the case the parties will be encouraged to have an out of court settlement.
There are many personal injury cases filed each year, but many of those that are filed with the court system are settled before they ever make it to a trial. Both parties, as represented by their respective attorneys, will sign a written agreement and decide to receive a mutually determined amount money in lieu of filing a personal injury case. However, when there is a failure to have an out of court settlement, the defendant decides to file a formal lawsuit.
In contrast to a criminal lawsuit where the government initiates the filing of a lawsuit, the personal injury case begins when the aggrieved party decides to file a civil complaint against the other party.
What are the Compensatory Damages?
Compensatory Damages are governed by the Personal Injury laws, which vary from state to state. Losses due to a person are called compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are given to the plaintiff as sort of payment to his losses. When he met that accident or when he had that slip or fall, he was unable to make a living, so the court decides to award him damages translated to money. It may be easier to translate medical expenses and damage to property to monetary value. However, when it comes to physical pain, trauma and mental anxiety it is much harder to prove.
Here are the Different Compensatory Damages the Court Awards to the Plaintiff:
Expenses incurred or will incur due to medical treatment. Damages will be awarded to the plaintiff with regards to whatever he has spent for him to heal from the accident. This will include hospital expenses and medical treatment, including the ones you will incur in the future.
- Loss of income. You are entitled, if you win your case, to be compensated for the loss of the wages that you suffered, and for the loss of the wages that you will suffer in the future due to the accident.
- Property loss. Compensation will be awarded to you for the damage to property caused by the accident. The fair market value of the damaged property will be determined by the court.
- Pain and Suffering. Due to the accident, you experience pain and suffering by which the court awards compensation. This may be a little harder to determine, however, the court will decide how much compensation to give.
- Emotional distress. The court awards the plaintiff as well for whatever mental anguish he suffered due to the accident, slip or fall.
- Loss of enjoyment. The plaintiff is awarded damages due to loss of enjoyment if the accident prevents you from returning to the normal physical activities or hobbies you were once involved in.
- Loss of consortium. The court awards this to the plaintiff due to the inability to experience the normal relationship between spouses and between parents & children.
Receiving compensation from personal injury cases may not cover for the emotional turmoil one experiences. However, if you know the law and your rights, and did your best to fight for your rights, it will be worth it.