How to Calculate Personal Injury Damages By Levine & Slavit PLLC on December 28, 2013

How to Calculate Personal Injury DamagesPersonal injury lawsuits are filed in order to hold negligent parties responsible for their actions that led to an injury. By doing this, people are able to obtain damages that cover losses and assist with recovery. There are a number of misunderstandings about damages, however, which is what we're hear to clear up.

Our team of personal injury attorneys would like to take a few moments right now to consider some of the basics with regard to damages in civil cases. We will turn some of this focus on how they are determined.

What are damages in a personal injury case?

Damages refer to monetary rewards that are sought from the negligent party during a civil case. There are two types of damages:

  • Compensatory damages
  • Punitive damages

It is not uncommon for both punitive and compensatory damages to be sought in a civil case.

About Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages are damages that are meant to address losses that have been experienced as a result of an injury or wrong that has occurred. Some examples of compensatory damages include the following:

  • Medical bills
  • Physical rehabilitation
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning potential
  • Damage to property
  • Pain and suffering

Calculating Compensatory Damages

When calculating compensatory damages, we will look at the actual value of losses. This means that in the case of a motor vehicle collision, our car accident attorneys will note the cost of the damaged vehicle or damage to the vehicle, the actual cost of the medical treatment, wages lost at work, and so forth.

If the injuries sustained result in disability of some kind, we will then estimate future losses in earning that come as a result of the injury that is sustained. With regard to pain and suffering, this often will be assessed using similar cases to find a fair monetary value.

About Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are intended to punish the negligent party for their actions. This is meant to also deter others out there who might engage in similar behavior. Punitive damages are not tied to losses per se, though the kind of losses sustained can factor heavily into the amount sought in punitive damages.

Calculating Punitive Damages

Punitive damages tend to be calculated using similar cases as a guide. The type of injuries sustained and the type of negligence demonstrated also have a major bearing on the total amount of the damages.

A Word on Damages in a Wrongful Death Lawsuit

The loss of a loved one due to another person's negligence can be extremely difficult on the family and the friends of the deceased. When assessing damages for wrongful death lawsuits, funerary costs are considered in addition to other losses, and the loss of companionship is considered as well.

Punitive damages in wrongful death lawsuits tend to be even greater than in personal injury lawsuits simply given the nature of the incident and the toll that the act of negligence has taken on the deceased victim's loved ones.

We Are Here for You and Your Loved Ones

The legal system can be difficult to negotiate on your own, which is why having a skilled legal expert on your side is so crucial. Our legal team will fight diligently for you and your needs every step of the way.

Learn More About Personal Injury Lawsuits

If you would like to learn more about personal injury lawsuits and how our team can help you in these cases, we encourage you to contact our New York personal injury attorneys today. With offices in Manhattan and Long Island, our legal team will be able to assist you with your legal matters and provide the best possible legal counsel along the way.

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Levine & Slavit, PLLC

The law firm of Levine & Slavit, PLLC has served clients in Long Island and the Greater New York City-area since 1957. We are a team of personal injury and wrongful death lawyers who work tirelessly for victims' rights. Our team is licensed and affiliated with the:

  • New York State Bar Association
  • New Jersey Board of Bar Examiners
  • Florida Board of Bar Examiners
  • U.S. District Court Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of New York

Please contact our practice online for a free consultation or call (212) 687-2777 to speak to an attorney today. 

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