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What Are the Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases? January 16, 2020

New City, Rockland County
What Are the Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases?, New City, New York

When you’re injured in an accident that was caused by the negligence or actions of another, you’re entitled to compensation to cover the financial burden the incident created. This type of compensation is called damages in the legal system, and hiring an attorney can help you obtain the full amount of damages owed to you. While you should always consult a personal injury lawyer after a serious accident, you should also have a general understanding of what types of damages you can claim. Here’s what you need to know.

4 Damages Your Attorney Can Help You Recover

1. Special Compensatory Damages

When you think of damages claimed in a personal injury lawsuit, special compensatory damages may come to mind. These are the financial losses of an accident victim. These damages are intended to compensate the victim or plaintiff in an accident for the expenses they incurred as a result of the incident.

Special compensatory damages an attorney might seek on your behalf include:

  • Loss of wages
  • Loss of future earnings
  • Cost of medical care
  • Future medical expenses, including physical therapy and psychological care
  • Daily living expenses
  • Costs associated with canceled plans

2. General Compensatory Damages

AttorneyThis category of personal injury damages is used to compensate an accident victim for damages that don’t necessarily have a specific monetary value. These are called general compensatory damages because they relate to damages that commonly affect most accident victims. 

These damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of consortium in cases of wrongful death

3. Wrongful Death Damages 

Since a wrongful death claim involves a lawyer seeking damages on behalf of the accident victim’s remaining family members, the damages that can be claimed are slightly different. For instance, you might not claim damages to cover medical expenses if the death was instantaneous. However, if the individual was treated in a hospital before dying, the family can claim damages to cover those expenses.

Other damages commonly claimed in a wrongful death suit are:

  • Funeral and burial expenses
  • Emotional distress suffered by the family
  • Loss of financial support provided by the decedent
  • Loss of services and guidance
  • Loss of consortium or companionship

4. Punitive Damages

Finally, a plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages, which can be anything from one dollar to millions of dollars. While other types of damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff, punitive damages are intended to teach the defendant a lesson or to punish them. This is common in cases where the defendant willfully committed an act with the knowledge that doing so could possibly harm others. For instance, dumping toxic chemicals into a reservoir or committing fraud. Typically, a plaintiff won’t actively seek punitive damages, but they may be awarded by the court in addition to other damages.


Neimark & Neimark specializes in personal injury and wrongful death claims for clients in Orange and Rockland counties, NY. Filing an accident claim can be complicated, and insurance companies are eager to save as much money as they can, so it’s important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure you get the compensation you deserve. To learn more about the firm’s experience in handling personal injury claims, visit their website. If you have been involved in an accident, call (888) 725-7424 to schedule an initial consultation.

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