A personal injury award is granted to the victim in a personal injury lawsuit in order to provide them with legal relief for injuries caused by the defendant. Generally speaking, most personal injury lawsuits result in a monetary damages award. This is a monetary amount paid to the victim by the liable party or parties. In personal injury cases, monetary damages are paid out to the injured person (the plaintiff) by the person or entity that is found legally responsible for causing the accident and the injuries (the defendant). The plaintiff and the defendant can agree damage awards after a negotiated settlement among the parties, their insurance companies, and their attorneys.
In some cases, the court may issue an injunction (a court order prohibiting conduct or requiring the defendant to take certain actions). Most personal injury lawsuits result in a damages award to cover the plaintiff’s losses. These are common in cases such as automobile accidents, slip and fall claims, negligence lawsuits, and class action suits.
There can often be many different components to a personal injury award. Of course, the amount of damages and the scope of coverage will depend on the injuries and losses sustained. But many personal injury awards may cover:
In most personal injury cases, the bulk of the plaintiff’s losses will be covered through the compensatory damages award. This usually covers losses such as medical bills, hospital and medicine costs, lost wages, and other direct losses. However, punitive damages can also be quite high if applied.
Most personal injury damages are classified as “compensatory” damages. Compensatory damages are intended to compensate the injured plaintiff for what was lost because of the accident or injury. Compensatory damages are also intended to make the injured plaintiff whole again and place them in the same position they were prior to the injury.
While the specific rules may vary by jurisdiction, the following personal injury losses can be recovered through a compensatory damages award:
In most cases, the amount of compensatory damages needs to be proportional to the damage sustained by the plaintiff. This is to ensure that the plaintiff doesn’t claim additional losses that are unrelated to the claim or that the defendant didn’t actually cause. The calculation of compensatory damages can get complicated and generally requires the assistance of a lawyer. There are some states that place limits on non-economic damages such as pain and suffering.
Also, as mentioned, many states may place limits on punitive damages if they are awarded. Some states also place similar caps on personal injury awards that revolve around medical malpractice. These types of limits are designed to prevent abuses of the legal system.
One of the main aspects in any personal injury claim is to ensure that your damages are calculable to a “reasonable degree of certainty”. This means that you should be able to prove clearly and accurately exactly which losses you should be compensated for. In order to do this, it may be necessary to provide written proof of your losses by providing medical receipts, hospital bills, pay stubs from work, and other documents.
In addition, you should understand that your ability to collect a personal injury award may also depend on your own degree of liability. Some jurisdictions may limit the amount of damages that can be collected if the victim was also at fault in causing their own injuries (for instance, if their own traffic violation contributed to a car accident).
Personal injury awards can help a person obtain compensation for losses caused in by a personal injury. You may wish to contact a personal injury lawyer if you need help obtaining a personal injury award. Your lawyer can advise you of your options when it comes to filing for an injury award. Your attorney can provide legal representation in court if you need to file a personal injury lawsuit.
Last Modified: 04-28-2016 03:10 PM PDTLaw Library Disclaimer
We've helped more than 4 million clients find the right lawyer – for free. Present your case online in minutes. LegalMatch matches you to pre-screened lawyers in your city or county based on the specifics of your case. Within 24 hours experienced local lawyers review it and evaluate if you have a solid case. If so, attorneys respond with an offer to represent you that includes a full attorney profile with details on their fee structure, background, and ratings by other LegalMatch users so you can decide if they're the right lawyer for you.