Types of Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Law

Personal injury lawsuits are filed against persons or entities who have exhibited negligence and as a result a person was injured, killed or suffered damages to their property.

In personal injury claims, compensation is often awarded to pay for damages such as medical bills, missed time from work, and physical rehabilitation.

The two types of damages in personal injury cases are compensatory damages and punitive damages.

Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff (the person who was injured), for their losses, and punitive damages are designed to punish a defendant and deter others from acting in the same manner.

Compensatory damages are the most common type of damages awarded in a personal injury case.

The difference between special and general damages

The two types of compensatory damages in a personal injury case are called general and special damages.

Special damages, which refers to damages that are easily calculated, can include the following:

      • Medical bills. High medical bills after an injury are common in a personal injury case. Compensatory damages can pay for hospital and doctor visits, diagnostic tests, physical therapy and the estimated costs of future rehabilitation or treatment.
      • Lost income. When an injury causes a person to miss time from work, they can seek compensation for lost wages during the time they were unable to work.
      • Property damage. A plaintiff can be awarded compensation for damages to their property, such as automobile damage. Sometimes the valuation of property calls for professional appraisers to be brought in.

General damages are much more subjective and difficult to put a dollar amount on.

Some of the most common types of general damages include:

      • Pain and suffering. Suffering a severe injury can be a terrifying experience, and the psychological effects on an individual can be devastating. When a person’s enjoyment of life is severely decreased because of an injury, they can seek compensation for their pain and suffering.
      • Mental illness and emotional distress. Common symptoms include shock, anxiety, confusion, depression, humiliation and sorrow. When these symptoms manifest physically, such as in loss of appetite or ulcers, the plaintiff may seek compensation.

Contact a personal injury lawyer in Yonkers

At Sayegh and Sayegh, we understand how difficult it can be to recover from a serious accident.

For this reason, we do everything we can to take the pressure off our clients when pursuing a personal injury claim while we fight for their rights to fair compensation.

We have years of experience in personal injury law and we’ve negotiated several multi-million dollar personal injury settlements.

If you or a loved one has been injured and you live in the Yonkers area, call us at (914) 968-5800 or contact our firm today to schedule a consultation with a Yonkers personal injury lawyer.