Three Types of Compensation Available in a Personal Injury Case

When you or a loved one suffers injuries following another party’s negligence, you’re entitled to financial compensation from that party. However, many people don’t realize what compensation a personal injury claim can cover. Besides medical expenses, there’s a myriad of expenses covered. This blog will discuss the three types of compensation following a personal injury case and examples of expenses or situations they may cover. 

  1. Economic Damages

Sometimes called special compensatory damages, economic damages cover expenses that typically carry an exact dollar figure or a very close estimation. 

  • Medical Expenses (past and future)
    • Hospital stays, medical treatments including surgeries, medical bills 
    • Physical therapy, pain management costs, rehabilitation 
    • Medical transportation, including ambulance rides
    • Prescription medications 
    • At-home or nursing home expenses 
    • Doctor’s appointments 
  • Property Damages

If your car, bike, or other property was damaged, the other party should pay the cost to repair or replace it. 

  • Lost Wages or Earning Power 

A personal injury may cause you to be unable to work until you recover. Additionally, an injury may also mean your earning power gets reduced. You may receive compensation that helps you make up the difference, including being paid for job rehabilitation services. 

  • Wrongful Death Expenses

Unfortunately, sometimes a personal injury results in wrongful death. In such a situation, the other party might cover expenses like funeral costs. Additionally, when a person’s death impacts their family’s financial situation, compensation can offset this missing financial contribution. 

  1. Non-Economic Damages

Often called general compensatory damages, non-economic damages refer to factors harder to calculate. While economic damages typically have an exact dollar amount, non-economic damages are different as they focus on factors not typically quantifiable. Some examples include: 

  • Pain and suffering 
  • Emotional distress (including the development of conditions like PTSD)
  • Lower quality of life
  • A loss to one’s reputation 
  • Inability to maintain relationships 
  • Temporary or permanent disfigurements 
  • Reduced sexual functions 
  1. Punitive Damages

While economic and non-economic damages are designed to make a victim and/or their family feel whole, punitive damages punish the negligent party. Getting awarded punitive damages is rare as punitive damages typically stipulate that the other party acted in extreme negligence or with malicious intent. 

When discussing punitive damages, many examples stem from entities like corporations instead of an individual’s actions. For example, if a company knowingly released a product that posed a health risk to increase its profits, its owners might be required to pay punitive damages. Individuals can be charged with punitive damages as well, however, especially if the court finds that economic and non-economic damages aren’t enough to deter future actions from the party. 

Sometimes punitive damages are also used to make an example from the negligent party to prevent similar actions from similar parties. While punitive damages are rare, the right lawyer can see if your case qualifies for punitive damages. 

These three types of compensation available in a personal injury case can cover a wide spectrum of expenses. If you need a personal injury lawyer in Lakeland, FL, our friends at David & Philpot, P.L. is available to help.