Personal Injury Lawyer
If you are injured as a result of an accident that was not your fault, you are probably wondering what you can receive compensation for. The law guarantees everyone the right to receive compensation for injuries that resulted from others’ actions or unsafe environments that others’ were responsible for. A personal injury lawyer can help you understand all the laws surrounding your rights, but this simple guide will explain the most basic concepts.
What You Receive
The most important thing for you to understand is that the compensation you do receive is determined by what the judge deems fair. Regardless of any other circumstance, it is the judge who sets the amount the defendant owes the plaintiff. However, this only applies if the lawsuit concludes in court. It is far more likely for the two parties to settle before that happens. If you receive an offer for an amount that you think fairly covers your expenses, you should accept it in most cases.
What Expenses Can Be Claimed
The law says that every expense related to the injury can be claimed, without exception. If you had to pay anything, no matter how small the amount is, as a direct result of the injury, you can be compensated for it. Specifically, the law wants to make the victim whole again, as if they were never injured in the first place. This includes:
- Medical bills
- Injury-related purchases
- Lost wages
- Damage to property
- Future lost wages due to impaired earning potential
In addition to receiving the monetary value of injuries and damages, you can also have a monetary value assigned to non-tangible damages. The most common form this takes is “pain and suffering.” For example, if you underwent an especially painful treatment for your injuries, the judge may determine that experience is worth $500. This is called general compensatory damages. Although it is not a type of expense you can claim, there is one other form that compensation can take. Punitive damages may be assigned in order to punish the at-fault party. This is rare outside of cases involving malicious actions, although it can also happen in cases where the at-fault party was acting especially irresponsibly, such as driving drunk. The judge always assigns punitive damages without any input from the victim or lawyers. A personal injury lawyer can ensure that you claim every expense possible so you receive all the compensation you are owed. Your first step should always be to speak with a lawyer.