What are the Types of Damages Awarded in a Personal Injury Case?

There are three main individual types of damages awarded in a personal injury case that make up the total amount of the verdict. These damages of compensation can help you with medical bills, lost wages, cost of future care, pain and suffering, and emotional distress.

If you have injuries as a result of someone else’s negligence, you may become entitled to damages from the party or parties responsible. A number of types of damages typically awarded in personal injury cases include:

Economic Damages

The most common type of economic damage is medical expenses and loss of wages.

Lost Wages

If you’re unable to work while recovering from your injuries, you may be entitled to lost wages for the time period when you weren’t able to work full time or at all. Lost wages also include any increased expenses associated with caring for yourself instead of working during this time period. This can include childcare costs and transportation costs related to getting around town instead of driving yourself around town as usual.

For example, if you took off five days of work due to your injuries and had an hourly rate of $15/hour, then your economic damages would be $75 ($15 x 5).

Lawyer assessing a client's personal injury case - damages awarded in a personal injury case.

Medical Bills

Were you treated at a hospital or doctor’s office? They may send you an itemized bill showing what they charged for each service or test. You should keep copies of all your medical bills. This way, you can provide them to your attorney when needed.

Non-Economic Damages

As opposed to economic damages, non-economic damages are harder to assign a dollar value. They consist of the following five categories:

  • Pain and Suffering
  • Emotional Distress
  • Disfigurement and Disability
  • Loss of Companionship
  • Loss of Enjoyment in Life

Non-economic damages intend to compensate the plaintiff for intangible losses. There is no set formula for calculating non-economic damages in personal injury cases. However, courts generally consider factors like the severity of your injuries, how long it will take you to heal and recover from them, whether you’ll need future medical treatment or surgery, whether you had to miss work while recovering from your injuries, and whether any permanent disability resulted from the accident (for example, during permanent disfiguration of a part of your body).

Punitive Damages

This type of award punishes the defendant for their actions. It is also a way to deter others from committing the same offenses. Not every personal injury case becomes awarded with punitive damages. However, they may be available in cases where a defendant’s actions were especially egregious.

For example, if an automobile manufacturer knew that its vehicles were prone to rollovers and chose to market them anyway, punitive damages might be appropriate in a resulting wrongful death case. Other examples of punitive damage may include:

  • Malicious prosecution
  • Intentional infliction of emotional distress
  • Fraudulent misrepresentation
  • Breach of fiduciary duty (duty of trust)

Awarding punitive damages for an intentional act of malice or recklessness can be difficult. It requires proof that the defendant intended to cause harm or acted with reckless disregard for safety. Therefore, not every personal injury case becomes awarded punitive damages. They are very fact specific and must be proven to be appropriate in a particular case based on the unique circumstances at hand.

Need a Personal Injury Attorney in Anchorage, Alaska?

Alaska Accident and Injury Law Center of the Brown Law Firm, LLC, offer personal injury representation for residents throughout Western Alaska. We have decades of experience helping clients move forward after car accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, and defective products like prescription drugs or medical devices cause injuries.

You deserve peace of mind after an injury. That’s why a personal injury attorney from Brown Law Firm is here to help. Call us as soon as possible to schedule your initial consultation today!