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What Are Damages In a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

Posted on in Personal Injury

When pursuing a New York personal injury claim, you will likely hear the term “damages” being tossed around. In a lawsuit, these damages do not directly refer to the actual injuries you’ve suffered or damage to your property, but instead refer to the monetary award you are pursuing.

Have you been hurt in New York? Call Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLCto pursue justice. Get your free case evaluation today!

Understanding Damages

In a lawsuit, there are essentially two basic types of damages -compensatory, or “actual” damages, as well as punitive damages.

  • Compensatory damages are designed to compensate you for things like medical expenses, lossof income, property damages, and other such economic losses. They also include non-economic losses, including pain and suffering.
  • Punitive damages, as the name suggests, are only awarded to punish the defendant for some behavior that was considered particularly malicious or reckless.

What Damages Can You Recover?

If you have been physically or emotionally injured in an accident, you can seek compensation for these injuries. You can also pursue damages for other damage to your property, as well as other economic losses you’ve suffered.In a typical personal injury claim, you can seek many types of damages,including:

  • Medical care
  • Loss of income, and future income
  • Damaged property
  • Pain & suffering
  • Emotional distress

When Are Punitive Damages Awarded?

In New York, punitive damages are only awarded in cases where the defendant acted in an extremely malicious manner to intentionally cause harm to the plaintiff, or when they willfully or wantonly engage in negligent behavior which caused the injuries. The injuries do not need to be serious for a judge to award punitive damages, and don’t need to be physical- emotional distress is grounds for punitive damages. However, it’s important to keep in mind that such damages are rare.

Examples which could lead to punitive damages include:

  • A car accident caused by a drunk driver
  • A manufacturer knowingly failing to recall a defective product
  • A bicyclist intentionally struck by an angry driver

If you or a loved one has been hurt, the time to act is now. Call our New York personal injury attorneys 24/7 at 203-661-6000 to learn how we can help.

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