If you've been wrongfully injured by another person's negligence, you may wonder if your case is worth millions, nothing or some amount in-between.
If you are involved in a civil action for personal injuries, you are typically entitled to recover damages. Every case is different and the precise amount is usually determined by a jury. If the amount awarded is excessive or deficient, a court may review it and increase or decrease the final amount.
A personal injury damage award includes two types of damages:
- Compensatory - Places you in the position you would have been in if the injury had never occurred. It restores you financially, physically and emotionally. It compensates you for monetary losses which include medical expenses, costs of living with a disability, lost wages, repair or replacement of damaged property and/or funeral expenses if the victim dies. In addition, it compensates you for pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
- Punitive - Is not designed to compensate you, but to punish the defendant for inflicting your injuries and to deter others from engaging in similar behavior. They are usually awarded when the defendant's conduct has been outrageous. Punitive damages are not always awarded, but if they are, courts typically limit them to less than ten times the amount of compensatory damages.
Finally, recipients of large personal injury damage awards may choose to receive this award in the form of a structured settlement. This is an alternative to lump-sum damage awards, disbursing monies to the victim on a monthly or annual basis over a certain period of time. A structured settlement has many benefits, including reduced federal and state income taxes.
Regardless of the type of damages and what may have caused them, the most important step you can take is to consult with the right professionals. The personal injury attorneys at Peach & Weathers can help you prove your injury and receive the benefits you are entitled to.
We service all areas in Southern California and have offices located in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.