The effects of an injury can be overwhelming and often impact multiple areas of your life. Personal injury compensation can help you recover financially after an accident. There are many different types of damages that can apply depending on your case.
These can include:
Instead of being intended to directly compensate the injured individual, punitive damages are awarded in very rare cases to punish the negligent party. The goal is to deter others from taking similar actions. In Arizona, a court only considers punitive damages when the defendant acted with an “evil hand and evil mind.”
Compensatory Economic/Special Damages
When damages are not punitive, they are compensatory damages. The goal is to restore the victim to the state they were in before the injury, to whatever extent this is possible. The first and most straightforward type of compensatory damages are economic or special damages. These are the direct financial impacts of a case and are fairly easy to calculate.
Medical expenses are the cost of any treatment you received as a result of your injury. These can include bills for hospital stays, prescription medication, surgeries, rehabilitation, and more. It’s important that your injury reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI) before calculating the final value of these expenses, if possible. This is because medical treatment and symptom management may need to continue for a long time or even permanently, and this should be included into the amount of personal injury compensation.
After an injury, you may need to take time off work for treatment and recovery. If your accident was more severe, you may be left permanently disabled. Personal injury compensation can include lost wages due to a temporary or permanent inability to work.
Compensatory Non-Economic/General Damages
Non-economic or general damages are also compensatory and are usually more difficult to calculate than special damages. This is because there is no set dollar amount for this type of personal injury compensation. Instead, your lawyer will need to present the evidence and argue for an appropriate settlement amount.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering includes the non-economic negative effects of your accident, such as physical pain or mental anguish. There are different methods your personal injury attorney may use to calculate a dollar amount for pain and suffering. Some law firms use the multiplier method. The amount of pain and suffering compensation is calculated by multiplying the special damages by an appropriate number that will be determined by the attorney handling the claim.
Loss of Consortium
The spouse of an accident victim may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium. This is to compensate for the fact that the injured spouse may not be able to provide the same level of companionship as they did before the accident. These damages are most common in wrongful death cases or if there was a serious injury or disability.