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Types of Personal Injury Damages

By: Fred Moore | Dec 12, 2023

If you’ve been hurt due to someone else’s negligence, personal injury damages provide financial compensation for your physical, emotional, and financial losses. It’s important to keep in mind that each personal injury claim is unique, and the types of damages you may be entitled to receive depend on the specific circumstances. Over the last 39 years, Moore Law Firm has represented more than 15,000 injury victims in Mobile, AL, and the surrounding areas. Our personal injury lawyers help you understand how damages work and fight to recover maximum compensation for your losses.

Economic Damages

Also called special damages, economic damages are quantifiable monetary losses incurred by an injured party. They may include medical expenses, lost wages, property damage, and other out-of-pocket costs directly associated with an injury or accident. Some common types of medical expenses include the cost of surgeries, hospitalization, rehabilitation, medication, and nursing care. In some cases, recovering special damages is simply a matter of providing documentation for monetary losses.

However, if you’ve been seriously injured and need long-term medical care or you’re unable to work, you’ll likely incur future expenses and losses such as healthcare costs and loss of earnings. That’s why it’s crucial to have a personal injury lawyer calculate the full amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive for future medical costs and future lost wages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages, or general damages, are non-monetary losses and are more challenging to quantify. They are intended to compensate the victim for the intangible aspects of their suffering. Common types of general damages include:

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages compensate the injured party for the physical and mental pain they’ve endured due to their injury. To recover pain and suffering damages, your personal injury attorney must demonstrate the nature and severity of the injury and its impact on your quality of life. Keeping a journal of your symptoms and how they have affected your day-to-day life, medical records, photos of your injuries, and testimony from loved ones all can substantiate your claim for pain and suffering damages.

Emotional distress

These damages are awarded to compensate you for the psychological impact of the injury. Anxiety, depression, PTSD, and other psychological conditions and emotional reactions may be considered emotional distress. Although emotional distress doesn’t leave visible scars, bodily injuries and medical records that provide evidence of unseen conditions such as traumatic brain injury can help to substantiate your claim. Records or testimony from a psychologist or psychiatrist also can help support a claim of emotional distress.

Disfigurement and Scarring

An injured victim also may be entitled to compensation for permanent disfigurement and scarring. An altered physical appearance or disability due to disfigurement can have significant emotional, psychological, and social effects that diminish a person’s quality of life.

Loss of Enjoyment of Life

If you’re no longer able to engage in activities and experiences you once loved, loss of enjoyment damages may be appropriate. For example, if you played in a softball league and suffered a spinal injury that affected your ability to play, it may be considered loss of enjoyment. Photographic evidence, medical records, keeping a journal documenting your physical and emotional conditions, and testimony from friends and family who have witnessed an injury’s impact on your life all can support your claim.

Loss of Consortium or Companionship

When an injured victim can’t provide the same kind of sexual intimacy, affection, or companionship to their loved ones, it takes a toll on the whole family. In this case, their spouse, child, or parent may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium or companionship. Some factors considered in this type of claim include whether they had a loving, stable marriage, how much care and companionship the spouse received from the injured party, and each spouse’s age. Although it can be challenging to prove, a personal injury lawyer can collect relevant evidence and put it all together to demonstrate the validity of a loss of consortium claim.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not awarded to compensate the injured person but to punish the at-fault party for egregious conduct and deter them from committing similar acts in the future. Receiving punitive damages in Alabama is rare, and they are awarded only in cases where the defendant’s actions were intentional, malicious, or showed a reckless disregard for the safety of others. For example, if a drunk driver causes a fatal accident, punitive damages may be awarded to the victim’s spouse, children, or parents who file a wrongful death claim. Punitive damages are the only type of damages that may be awarded in a wrongful death lawsuit in Alabama.

How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help

Figuring out which types of damages may apply to your case can be complicated. An attorney can evaluate your case, calculate damages, help you navigate the legal process, and handle all aspects of your personal injury lawsuit. This takes a big weight off your shoulders and allows you to focus on your healing and spending time with loved ones. You can rest assured that the personal injury attorneys at Moore Law Firm are in your corner and tirelessly fighting for your rights and interests.

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney in Mobile, AL

At Moore Law Firm, we care about our clients and understand that being hurt in an accident can have life-altering repercussions. If you have questions about personal injury damages in the Mobile, AL, area or you’d like to schedule a free consultation, contact us online, call 251-445-7602, or use the convenient chat feature on our website to get in touch.