Suppose you have been injured in an accident that happened through no fault of your own. In that case, you may be facing insurmountable medical expenses and other costs associated with the losses and injuries you sustained. You may also have been unable to return to work since the accident and may worry about the future. If so, you may consider filing a personal injury claim against whoever is responsible for your damages and losses and should talk to a Nashville personal injury attorney. However, you may still doubt what types of damages you are entitled to receive in a personal injury claim and what items you can include. Read on to learn some important points when filing a personal injury claim.
What Claims Can Be Included in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?
The claims that can be included in a personal injury lawsuit depend on the type of case and the damages sustained by the plaintiff, that is, the person who is filing the lawsuit. Generally, there are two main types of claims: economic and non-economic damages. Some cases include punitive damages as well. Here is what each may include:
This type of damage includes the actual financial losses that the plaintiff incurred or will incur because of the injury, such as medical bills, lost wages, property damage, and future expenses. In other words, every expense for which you receive a bill and to which a monetary value can easily be attached.
Non-economic damages are intangible losses that affect the plaintiff’s quality of life, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium, among others. As you can see, it is much more difficult to attach value to these intangible items that are nevertheless quite real for those who are experiencing them.
Some personal injury lawsuits may also include a claim for punitive damages, which are meant to punish the defendant for egregious misconduct and deter similar behavior from them and others in the future. Punitive damages are not awarded in every case and are subject to statutory limits in some states. Your lawyer can explain to you whether you might expect the judge to award you punitive damages.
Common Types of Personal Injury Lawsuits
The type of personal injury lawsuit you file will also determine the specific claims you can make. Some common types of personal injury lawsuits include:
Negligence – Such as from a car accident or slip and fall. Here you must prove that the defendant owed you a duty of care, breached that duty, caused your injury, and this resulted in your damages.
Fraud – Such as identity theft. Here you must prove that the defendant made a false representation, intended to deceive you, caused you to rely on that representation, and resulted in your damages.
Assault and Battery – In these cases, you must prove that the defendant intentionally caused you to fear or suffer harmful or offensive contact.
Wrongful Death – In wrongful death cases, you must prove that the defendant’s wrongful act or negligence caused the death of your loved one and resulted in your damages as a surviving family member.
Medical Malpractice – In medical malpractice cases, you must prove that the defendant, a health care provider, deviated from the accepted standard of care, caused your injury, and their actions resulted in your damages.
Product Liability – In these cases, you must prove that the product manufacturer or seller sold you a defective product that caused your injuries.