Compensation and Personal Injury: An Overview
The compensation an injured person (plaintiff) can receive in a personal injury case is known as “damages.” But how are damages determined, and what is your case worth? Here, the personal injury attorneys at AFSL discuss damages in personal injury cases.
Types of Damages
Depending on the unique circumstances of an accident and the extent of injuries that occurred, a plaintiff may be able to receive compensation for the physical, financial, mental and emotional pain they have suffered. This can include:
Any medical expenses incurred by the plaintiff resulting from the accident may be compensated for, including hospital stays, physical therapy, medication, surgery, rehabilitative treatment and more.
If the plaintiff must miss work due to their injuries, they can be compensated for the wages they would have otherwise earned. Furthermore, if the plaintiff is permanently prevented from working due to their injuries, compensation for the future wages they could have earned can be obtained.
Many personal injury accidents also involve damage to property, especially in automobile accidents. If this is the case, the plaintiff is able to recoup the fair market value of any property that was destroyed.
If the victim dies as a result of an accident, their immediate family may be compensated for the financial and emotional loss they suffer as a result of losing their loved one. This claim on behalf of the serving family members is in addition to the claim the injured party has for their pain, disability, medical expenses, wages, etc. before their death.
Loss of consortium
In Maryland, a spouse can also petition for loss of consortium damages, which is compensation for the loss to the marital relationship on account of the injury.
Pain and Suffering
Compensation for the pain and suffering a victim endured because of the accident will be considered when determining the damages owed. This determination will also account for the ongoing pain that a victim may suffer as a result of their injuries. Often this element of damages despite being highly subjective, will amount to the largest part of a settlement.
Emotional Stress and Loss of Enjoyment
Injuries, medical treatment and the incident that caused both are extremely stressful, and may cause victims to suffer ongoing mental and emotional distress. As a result, damages may account for any distress or anguish a victim faces. Compensation for loss of enjoyment of life is possible as well if the injuries sustained from an accident have made it difficult or impossible for the victim to pursue hobbies and other everyday activities they enjoyed prior to becoming injured.
Maryland is a contributory negligence state, meaning that any contribution a plaintiff makes to their accident bars them from seeking remuneration. Damages can only be won if the defendant was completely responsible for the accident that caused the injuries sustained and the plaintiff did just contribute even 1%, to the cause of the injuries! Maryland is one of only four states to have this harsh rule on contributory negligence. In light of this there are some exemptions to the contributory negligence standard that may salvage a claim. Due to this factor, it is advisable to discuss the specific details of your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer, to determine if you will be able to claim damages, or to find the most appropriate avenue of recourse for your claim. The dedicated personal injury attorneys at AFSL want to help you seek the remuneration you deserve—contact us today to schedule a consultation!