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Indiana Accident Attorneys – Personal Injury – Vanderpool Law Firm
Monetary damages are awarded in a personal injury case to compensate the victim. These awards may include the cost of medical treatment, any lost income or wages, any lost property, pain and suffering; emotional distress; loss of enjoyment of life; loss of consortium; and possibly encompass punitive damages as well. The amount of damages a plaintiff can recover will vary greatly on the facts and circumstances of the plaintiff’s individual case. The following is a list of more common categories for which damages are often collected in a personal injury case.
- Medical Treatment:
Medical treatment can become very expensive very quickly. If the plaintiff must seek out medical care and treatment as a result of the injuries they suffered, the defendant can be held liable to pay those expenses. The plaintiff may also be entitled future medical treatment if it appears future medical care will be needed. Typically doctors will need to be consulted to determine the amount of future medical care that an individual will need.
- Lost income/wages:
In personal injury cases compensation is available to pay a plaintiff for any time that was missed from work due to injury or treatment. If the plaintiff has lost the ability to work in the future, then this compensation can be calculated out to compensate the victim for future lost income as well. If there is a permanent impairment in the plaintiff’s ability to work this can also be calculated to ensure that the plaintiff will be compensated fully. Many factors will need to be considered to accurately determine the amount of lost earnings including: what the plaintiff was making prior to the incident; if there is any permanent impairment; work limitations; the plaintiff’s education; chance of future employment; as well as the type of work plaintiff can qualify for.
- Pain and Suffering:
Pain and suffering is awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the pain and suffering they have endured as a result of the incident. The fear of juries awarding large amounts for pain and suffering is often one factor which leads to insurance companies wanting to settle cases. Typically, higher medical costs and more serious injuries will lead to higher amounts for pain and suffering. Any injury which has a lasting or permanent effect on the plaintiff will allow for a high demand in terms of pain and suffering.
- Loss of Consortium:
The right to bring a claim for loss of consortium belongs only to the spouses of the injured party who holds a valid marriage contract with the injured spouse at the time the loss occurred. Recoverable damages under a consortium claim include both material services (calculable and monetary damages) as well as love, care, and affection. The Indiana Court of Appeals stated in Boland v. Greer that “consortium is more than ‘services’ in the ordinary sense. An action for consortium rests in large part on the impairment or destruction of the sexual life of the couple.” 409 N.E.2d 1116, 1120 (Ind. Ct. App. 1980).
- Punitive Damages:
Punitive damages are rarely awarded and will only be allowed in circumstances where the defendant’s actions were committed maliciously. These damages are meant to punish the defendant for their actions. There needs to be more than mere negligence on the part of the defendant in order to support a finding for these damages. The law in Indiana limits the portion of punitive damages that the plaintiff is allowed to retain. The plaintiff may only keep 25% of these damages and the remainder will go back into the State fund.
- Emotional Distress:
Damages to compensate the plaintiff for emotional distress may also be awarded. These are typically proven by medical records and diagnoses by trained professionals.
- Lost Property:
The plaintiff has the right to be compensated for any loss of property due to the actions of the defendant. Typically the reasonable value of the property will be awarded to compensate the plaintiff for the loss.
The descriptions above are just a brief overview of some of the damages that could be available in any given case. Many factors go into calculating the damages in a personal injury case. It is important to speak with a personal injury attorney to ensure you are receiving fair and just compensation.
The personal injury lawyers at Vanderpool Law Firm, PC have a wealth of experience and knowledge to help maximize the compensation you may be entitled to. Call us today at (574) 268-9995 to set up a free consultation.