The Types of California Personal Injury Damages
When you file a personal injury case in the state of California, it will be up to you to determine a great deal of damages that you expect to receive. You will need to prove damages if the case goes to court and you will need to know what to expect as a minimum amount you will accept in settlement if the insurance company does agree to settle. Damages or losses do not necessarily have to do with your injuries. There is actually much more to it.
The first type of damages are called compensatory. These damages have to do with the losses that you sustained due to the injury that you suffered after the accident. Here are the types of compensatory damages that you could receive. Keep in mind that you will need to provide proof of how much you actually lost or will have lost because of the injury.
- Medical bills. Of course, any medical bills that you have received from the treatment of your injury will be considered compensatory.
- Future medical bills. You will also need to create an estimate of future medical care you need due to the injury, whether it be rehab or in home medical care or even just follow up visits.
- Lost wages. If you had to miss work due to your injury, then you can receive compensatory damages for the money you should have received but did not. This can include past lost wages or even future lost wages if you are disabled.
- Pain, suffering, and emotional distress are also considered compensatory damages. This can be the hardest to calculate, but your lawyer should help you determine what to expect from this category.
The second type of damages is punitive. Punitive damages are not something that you can determine yourself. Instead, these damages are what a judge can award as a way of punishing the negligent party. If the accident was due to extreme negligence, then often, the judge will make the decision to award these damages just to make a point.
When you file a personal injury case, then you will need to consider these damages. If you settle the case, you need to make sure all of your damages are covered and if the insurance company refuses to pay for the damages, then the case may need to go before a court so that damages can be covered and awarded properly.