The Compensation You Deserve: What Exactly Are You Asking For?
It’s no secret that the law is a complicated beast. If it wasn’t, then we wouldn’t have lawyers that need years of higher education and training in order to maneuver it. The law is made up of statutes written by legislatures and rulings made by judges. There are laws governing every aspect of a lawsuit, including the money you get if you win.
Most people think that if you win a civil lawsuit, such as a personal injury lawsuit, then you get money. In the law, the term for an award of money is “monetary damages.” There are many different types of monetary damages. The amount is not determined by choosing an arbitrary number. Instead, the jury or judge listen to the evidence, weigh the facts of the case, apply the law to the facts of the case and decide if you are entitled to compensation.
The two most common types of damages are “Compensatory Damages” and “Punitive Damages.” Sometimes, “Non-Monetary Losses” are also awarded. We will discuss those at a later time.
Compensatory damages are just what the name suggests: damages (in the form of money) that compensate you. Generally, in a personal injury action, the compensation is related to your injury. For example, compensatory damages related to your injury might be:
Money to cover medical bills: This includes both past, present and future medical bills, including rehabilitation, physical therapy, and other relevant considerations.
Money to cover property damage: Property damage is a kind of injury that is covered as compensatory damage. Generally, this is compensation for damage to your personal property such as your car.
Costs of new standards of living: Sometimes, an injury can leave you disabled. Sometimes this disability is significant, such a walking with a limp. But sometimes the disability is catastrophic, such as one that confines you to a wheelchair. The cost of living life in a wheelchair is extremely high, especially if you hope for any decent standard of living. The costs of living the rest of your life wheelchair-bound, or with your specific disability, are calculated under compensatory damages.
Lost wages: Almost every person who is involved in an accident where they sustain an injury misses work. Sometimes, the injury precludes someone from working for the rest of their lives.
You can be awarded compensatory damages for all or some of these purposes.
Punitive damages are not awarded in every case. In fact, they are saved for some of the worst personal injury cases – the cases that are so bad that we believe that the person who caused the accident shouldn’t just be held responsible for their actions, but should be punished as well. In order to get punitive damages, the court must first award compensatory damages. Only then can the court consider punishing the defendant for his or her wrongdoings. This punishment also acts as a deterrent to prevent similar defendants from engaging in this type of behavior.
In order to get the compensation you deserve, you have to know what to ask for. It is important to hire an experienced attorney who understands how to help achieve your goals. If you have been injured in Miami or Coral Gables, Florida, then please speak with the legal professionals at the Perez-Gurri Law Firm today for a free consultation.