Types Of Damages In Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits
When you are injured in an accident, and you believe that it was due to another person’s recklessness or negligence, you may choose to bring suit in civil court against them. Depending on the specific facts of your situation, you may be seeking different types of compensation, especially if the defendant’s recklessness was particularly extreme. There are several different legal terms that are used, often interchangeably, to describe the types of damages that you can recover if you are successful in court. It is a good idea to make sure you understand the terminology.
Tangible Economic Damages
The majority of damages that one can seek in a personal injury lawsuit are referred to as economic or compensatory damages. Compensatory damages are called that because they are intended to compensate a victim for the specific economic losses they sustained due to their injuries. Examples of this kind of damages include:
- Medical bills, as well as estimates of future medical care for injuries like traumatic brain injury (TBI);
- Lost wages or other income;
- Impaired earning capacity, both at your current job and in any future similar job; and
- Any other tangible loss of savings or income that you can demonstrate sufficiently.
Economic damages are essentially any losses that you can establish with tangible proof, such as paychecks or written bills. It is generally much easier to successfully make a claim for compensatory damages because the amounts in question have tangible math to establish figures.
Non-Economic & Punitive Damages
Non-economic damages are the other commonly seen type, and while they can be more difficult to prove due to their inchoate nature, it is generally possible to prevail. As one might imagine, non-economic damages are those damages you incurred due to your injury that are more difficult to put a fixed number on. The most common example is pain and suffering, which is a very real injury, but at the same time, there is no number that may come readily to hand. Usually, these types of damages are estimated by experts.
A far less commonly seen type of damages is referred to as punitive damages, and it is designed specifically to punish. Because of this, the standard required in order for a court to find that punitive damages are appropriate is quite high – the “intentional infliction of harm, or a recklessness” that happens due to an intentional act. In other words, if no intentional infliction of harm happens, the court will generally not award punitive damages, because the defendant’s conduct is not seen as sufficiently egregious.
Contact An Orlando Personal Injury Attorney
Being injured is always difficult, but being injured due to someone else’s negligence or recklessness can make it very easy to feel overwhelmed. The Orlando personal injury lawyers at the Hornsby Law Group can help you understand what potential damages you may be able to recover, and guide you through the legal process. Call our offices today for a free consultation.