If you were harmed due to another’s negligence (unreasonable carelessness) or misconduct, you may be entitled to compensation for the losses or injuries that you have suffered. In legal terms, that compensation is known as “compensatory damages.”
“Compensatory damages” is a catch-all term for the economic and non-economic losses that an individual may have suffered due to another person’s actions or failure to act. The goal of compensatory damages is to replace what the individual has lost and make him or her “whole” again.
Understand the elements of damages in a Jacksonville Personal Injury Case. Let’s review the components of compensatory damages that may be available to you in a Jacksonville personal injury case:
Economic Losses/Monetary Expenses
Economic losses are those losses that are quantifiable and verifiable. Medical expenses, for example, can be proven through the documentation and presentation of medical bills. As part of compensatory damages, you are entitled to reimbursement for reasonable and necessary medical expenses, including past and future expenses. Your Jacksonville personal injury lawyer may hire medical experts to testify regarding the nature and extent of your injuries, as well as the reasonableness of the medical expenses you have incurred and are likely incur in the future as a result of the accident.
You also are entitled to receive compensation for lost wages. If your injury affects your ability to earn income, you may be entitled to receive damages for the amount of wages you would have earned had the accident never occurred. As with medical expenses, lost wages and income are often proved through expert testimony.
Property damage is another example of a monetary expense or economic loss that can easily be quantified.
Non-economic Losses/General Damages
Non-economic losses (also called “general damages”) are those that are not easily quantifiable by supporting evidence or documentation. These types of damages include emotional distress, pain and suffering, permanent injuries and disfigurement, and loss of consortium. “Pain and suffering” includes physical pain, as well as mental anguish you may have suffered due to an accident or injury resulting from another’s misconduct. It also includes the emotional pain that stems from your inability to continue to participate in and enjoy activities you did previously, and the change in the quality of your life.
Because non-economic losses tend to be quite subjective, determining the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive is tricky, and no exact formula exists for the calculation. Therefore, claims for non-economic damages are often supported by the expert opinions and testimony of medical and mental health professionals, who can explain the nature and severity of your loss. Your family members, friends and other non-experts also can provide helpful evidence regarding the impact of your injuries on your daily life.
Contact a Jacksonville Personal Injury Lawyer for your Jacksonville Personal Injury case
Many factors will impact the type and amount of compensatory damages to which you may be entitled. To talk with an experienced Jacksonville personal injury lawyer about your particular situation, call us, at 904-824-9402, or email us using the form on this page.