The Role of Damages In A Personal Injury Claim

The person that has filed a personal injury claim has suffered losses and injuries. Those have forced the injured victim to cover some unexpected expenses. All this has happened at a time when the victim’s ability to earn a living has been compromised.

In other words, victims suffer both injuries and losses. As a result, the size of the victim’s bank account shrinks. Injury lawyers in Chatham say that someone that has filed a personal injury claim has had to face the challenges posed by a range of damages.

What damages are responsible for the victim’s monetary costs?

Accident victims must pay money for their medical care. If they need rehabilitation services, then that adds to their monetary costs. Some damages reflect the existence of losses. For instance, a severely injured victim cannot work, and so is unable to bring home the expected income.

If a victim’s recovery gets completed in a relatively short span of time, the loss of income is only temporary. Suppose, though, that a driver or passenger in a car has suffered a catastrophic injury? In that case, either of them could be staying at home or in the hospital for quite some time. That fact would add to the extent of the damages suffered by the same driver or passenger.

An employee might miss more than just the normal work hours. An injured employee might miss the opportunity to take part in a special training program. In that way, the same employee’s chances for advancement would be damaged. That fact would need to be addressed, during a determination of a fair compensation.

The value of a victim’s emotional damages can prove difficult to calculate.

Some injured victims exhibit signs of stress. Some become depressed or anxious. A youth might feel embarrassed by the need to depend on a wheelchair or crutches. A lawyer would make sure that a jury got a feel for a client’s/victim’s feelings, after a given accident. Those feelings display the level of the client’s emotional damages.

The possibility of punitive damages

If a defendant’s actions have been egregious, the plaintiff might be awarded some punitive damages. Those do not help the victim to get back to where he or she was before. Instead, they punish the defendant.

Not all victims welcome the awarding of punitive damages. The money awarded for punitive damages can be taxed by the government. Some lawyers seek more money fora client’s monetary damages, instead of an additional punitive award.

Yet a judge might insist on using the reward system to punish a given defendant. In other words, judges and lawyers do not always share the same goals, in terms of being fair to a plaintiff.