What are damages?
In the legal sense, the word damages as described by an experienced Indianapolis, IN Personal Injury Lawyer, is defined as the injuries or losses caused by a negligent or wrongful act. Monetary compensation is the currency used to make a person legally whole again for the damages they have sustained. There are three types of damages a personal injury lawyer may seek if you were injured in an automobile crash, motorcycle collision, trucking accident or by an act of medical or nursing home negligence. These damages are:
- Economic Damages – Losses that can be quantified or receipted;
- Non-economic Damages – Non-quantifiable losses that are subjective to the recipient; and
- Punitive Damages* – Compensation assessed to punish the wrongdoer for egregious, wanton and wrongful conduct.
*Please note that tort reform groups have effectually capped punitive damage and medical malpractice awards in the state of Indiana. If you have questions about punitive damages or medical malpractice compensation, I advise you to discuss this further with your Indianapolis personal injury lawyer.
The Full Extent of Damages May Not Be Understood Right Away
An injury lawyer will need a comprehensive overview of your injuries and prognosis to assess the true value of your claim. Hence, when possible, your Indianapolis personal injury lawyer may ask that you complete your physician’s recommended medical plan of treatment before initiating negotiations or court pleadings. However, your lawyer may rely upon the treating physician’s statement to properly assess the value of your claim, past, present, and future, particularly when treatment is prolonged or unusually lengthy.
Damages Common in Moving Vehicle Crashes
The following is a list of the most common damages an Indianapolis personal injury lawyer will take into consideration for your claim:
- The totality of medical bills and estimation of future medical bills
- Disfigurement and loss of limb
- Impairment and loss of physical and mental capacity
- Loss of income and future earning capacity
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship/consortium
- Past and future pain and suffering
- Wrongful death
The list of damages above includes both economic and non-economic damages. Estimates for economic damages come from billings, receipts, tables, and tax documents. For example, a claim for loss of wages includes averaging prior years of earnings, standardized tables of future wage loss predicated on rates of inflation, and mortality tables. Economic experts estimate non-economic damages for catastrophically injured clients. For example, how do you put a value on the loss of a limb? In such a claim, an economic expert evaluates and monetizes the value of the victim’s mental and physical challenges, past, present, and future.
Put your claim in the hands of an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer
State legislation and judicial opinions shift with time. These changes may affect the amount of compensation you might receive for your damages. Trust your claim to an experienced Indianapolis personal injury lawyer with up-to-date knowledge of laws and judicial rulings. The attorneys at Ward & Ward Law Firm have dedicated their 95+ years of combined experience to helping injured people maximize their claims for damages. Our attorneys are available 24 hours a day and would like to discuss your claim with you. Call Indianapolis personal injury attorney Charlie Ward today at (317) 639-9501 for a free consultation.