What Personal Injury Damages Are Recoverable in a Lawsuit?

October 10, 2019
You’ve suffered a personal injury, and now you’re wondering what costs related to that injury are covered. Specifically, if you file a lawsuit, what personal injury damages in Santa Rosa, CA are recoverable? While each case involves unique situations and rulings, personal injury damages typically fall into one of three main categories of claims. Use the following overview to familiarize yourself with the types of claims you or another party can make. If you need any assistance with personal injury damages in Chico, Redding, or Santa Rosa, CA, don’t hesitate to reach out to The Law Office of Max G. Arnold, Inc.

Economic Damages

These damages are fairly concrete and easy to claim. They include medical bills, property damage and lost income as a result of the injury. They can be past losses, or losses a plaintiff expects to suffer in the future as a result of their injuries. Your attorney can present tangible evidence for these claims, such as hospital invoices, paycheck stubs and repair bills. These are often considered the “building blocks” of a case, since insurance carriers and juries both tend to use economic damages as a base to determine the extent of other damages.

General Damages

These damages are less concrete than compensatory (economic). They include mental anguish and pain and suffering. Since these conditions are difficult to assign a dollar amount to, the claim is more challenging. Oftentimes, a jury will start its evaluation by looking at the general nature of the plaintiff’s injuries, as well as the length and invasiveness of their medical treatment. They may also consider a plaintiff’s age or socioeconomic background when arriving at a value for general damages. A skilled attorney will identify and emphasize those parts of a plaintiff’s claim that are likely to increase payment of general damages.

Punitive Damages

These are the most difficult type of claim to obtain. Instead of compensating the plaintiff, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant, and make an example of them to deter others from a certain course of conduct. A plaintiff must meet relatively strict conditions to successfully make this claim, and most states expressly forbid insurance companies from paying those awards. Furthermore, defendants who must pay punitive damages often appeal the decision, and may eventually receive a reduction in the amount by a higher court.

Other Terms to Know

As you navigate personal injury damages in Chico, Redding, or Santa Rosa, CA, you may encounter other terms that have not been covered in the above overview. Under general damages, claims may also fall under “personal enjoyment,” “loss of consortium” or “loss of companionship.” These refer to intangible losses that result from the injury. For example, if an injury permanently prevents a recreational athlete from playing sports again, they could argue that the loss in enjoyment from pursuing those activities is a loss for which they should be compensated. Situations such as this are often considered as part of a personal injury case.

We’re in Your Corner

Do you need assistance with recovering personal injury damages in Chico, Redding, or Santa Rosa, CA ? The professionals at The Law Office of Max G. Arnold, Inc. have you covered. We bring over 35 years of experience to every case. Contact us to navigate the legal obstacles you may face and get the compensation you need. Schedule an in-person case evaluation today.

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