What are Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases? By Steve Charpentier on November 07, 2013

Personal Injury Lawsuits - Compensatory DamagesWhen you or someone you love is injured as a result of negligence, it's important that the responsible party is held accountable for their act of negligence. This is a simple case of fairness given how severe some accidents may be. It's important that accident victims or their loved ones meet with our personal injury attorneys to learn more about their legal entitlements.

During many personal injury cases, damages are sought on behalf of the injured. Our legal team would like to take a moment right now to consider the nature of compensatory damages in these legal cases.

About Personal Injury Lawsuits

It's important that we define personal injury lawsuits in some basic terms first.

Personal injury lawsuits are cases in which a person has been injured as a result of another party's negligent action or inaction. This party can be another individual or a company/entity of some kind.

Two kinds of damages are often sought in personal injury lawsuits: compensatory damages and punitive damages.

What are compensatory damages?

Compensatory damages are damages that are sought in order to recover various kinds of material losses. This includes medical bills, the cost of physical therapy or rehabilitation, damage to property, lost income, and so on. (In the case of wrongful death lawsuits, funerary costs are also part of compensatory damages.)

How do compensatory damages differ from punitive damages?

By contrast, punitive damages are sought in order to punish the party responsible for the injury occurring. These kinds of damages are helpful for seeking change and reform and deterring similar activity in the future.

Examples of Compensatory Damages

One example of compensatory damages is common to auto accidents. Say a person is seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision with another motorist who was driving under the influence. The injuries include trauma to the lower back that will require surgery and continuing therapy to manage, with the accident victim's mobility, range of motion, and core strength affected for the foreseeable future.

Our auto accident attorneys would seek compensation to cover the vehicle damage as well as medical costs. The cost of physical therapy would also be accounted for as part of these damages. Since the victim's earning potential and well-being is affected, the diminished earning capacity in the future would also be considered.

How are compensatory damages assessed?

To assess this form of legal compensation, our legal team will look at all medical bills, current and projected physical therapy costs, the damage done to the vehicle and any other belongings at the time of the accident, as well as predicted future earnings.

Pain and suffering is also a common part of compensatory damages, and this tends to be assessed using other legal cases as a guide.

How Our Personal Injury Attorneys Can Help You

The legal system can be difficult to negotiate on your own, which is why having skilled attorneys on you side is so important. Our lawyers will ensure that you understand what is at stake each step of the way, allowing you to make wise decisions with peace of mind.

Learn More About Personal Injury Lawsuits

For more information about personal injury lawsuits and what they entail, be sure to contact our Florida personal injury lawyers today. Our entire legal team is here to help you receive just compensation for losses that you have experienced.

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Charpentier Law Firm, P.A.

Since 1981, Stephen G. Charpentier has been protecting victims' rights. Mr. Charpentier:

  • Is a recipient of an AV rating, the Martindale-Hubbel® National Law Directory's highest honor
  • Earned Florida Legal Elite status in 2010
  • Handles cases in many practice areas including medical malpractice, auto accidents, and wrongful death

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