Winning Damages in Personal Injury Law
As a victim of a tort, you have the right to recover two main types of damages from the party or parties responsible for your physical, emotional, or financial injuries. Personal injury law provides for both compensatory damages and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are awards which are intended to restore the plaintiff to the state he or she would have been in, had the tort never occurred. These are typically financial awards which “make up” for the injuries suffered by the plaintiff.
Special damages are compensatory damages which are directly tied to a specific and concrete injury, such as medical bills or lost wages. These damages are easily quantifiable.
General damages, on the other hand, are awards which compensate the plaintiff for injuries which are much less quantifiable. These include awards for pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship, and loss of ability to enjoy life. Personal injury law recognizes that, though these injuries are very difficult to quantify, their effects are serious and real enough to warrant redress in a court of law.
Punitive damages are essentially penalties imposed on a defendant in order to deter him, her, or it from committing similar torts in the future. These damages are not necessarily dependent on the severity of injuries suffered by the plaintiff, though several Supreme Court rulings have suggested that excessive punitive-to-compensatory damage ratios could be considered violations of the due process clause of the Constitution.
For more information about damages in tort law, contact the Hankey Law Office to speak with an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer today. Call (317) 634-8565.