Following a car accident, many people ask me about what types of compensation are available for their personal injury claims. While every single case is a bit different, an experienced personal injury attorney should be able to evaluate all the factors of your accident and let know what compensation if available under your personal claims. It is important to consult with a personal injury attorney before accepting any settlement offers from an insurance company. Policy limits may keep you from collecting the full amount you may be entitled to for your personal injury claims, based on your injuries and financial losses. Types of Damages You May Receive Damages are the restitution you receive in compensation for the injuries you suffered due to the negligence of another party. The types of damages available for personal injury claims in Louisiana, include:
- Compensatory Damages: Compensatory damages attempt to place the injured party in the position he would have been in had the accident not occurred. There are two types of compensatory damages:
- (1) Special damages (also call pecuniary or actual damages) and
- (2) General damages
Special damages are those that can be computed and/or estimated with some kind of mathematical certainty. Special damages include past lost wages, future lost wages, past medical bills, future medical bills, property replacement and/or repair, rehabilitation costs, and substitute transportation. General damages include: pain and suffering, mental distress, scarring or disfigurement and loss of enjoyment of life. Also, certain family members (spouse and children, parents, siblings or grandparents) may recover for the “loss of consortium” (basically, loss of love, companionship and affection, uncompensated household services, and a spouse’s impairment of sexual relations) they suffer as a result of injury to another family member.
- Punitive Damages: These are designed to punish particular conduct or make an example of certain offenders. The idea is that doing so will deter such behavior for the benefit of society. Louisiana allows punitive damages under limited circumstances, such as:
- Drunk driving accidents;
- Ultrahazardous activities causing damage; and
- Other limited circumstances.
The Most Common Damages are Compensatory Damages Most damages received for personal injury claims, including those awarded as a result of a car accident, are compensatory damages. Some compensatory damages are easy to calculate, but others may require a jury or judge to make a decision. Compensatory damages can include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Medical Costs: Expenses related to medical care received as a result of the accident can include treatment already obtained for your injuries as well as estimated expenses for future medical care.
- Lost Wages: Income that is lost due to the victim’s inability to work may be awarded. This can also include a reduction of wages if the victim is no longer able to perform his or her job and is forced to find a job with a lower wage.
- Pain and Suffering: These are damages that may be awarded for the discomfort resulting from the accident and the residual effects.
- Mental Anguish/Emotional Distress: These damages may be awarded if the accident was extremely traumatic and serious.
- Physical Impairment: These damages are paid to victims when they are not able to enjoy their typical day to day activities, exercise, or hobbies that they used to participate in.
- Disfigurement: If the accident results in major changes to the plaintiff’s physical appearance and limits his or her ability to have a normal life, this type of damages may be awarded.
- Loss of Consortium: If the victim’s relationships are negatively affected by the injury, then loss of consortium damages may be awarded.
Seek the Guidance of an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney With so much at stake, it is imperative to work with an attorney who has the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected. The attorneys at Russell Law Firm LLC have years of experience helping their clients achieve the compensation that they deserve. Contact them today to schedule a consultation. By: Danny Russell, Baton Rouge area personal injury attorney, licensed in Louisiana and admitted in the following courts:
- All Louisiana District Courts
- All Louisiana Appellate Courts
- Louisiana Supreme Court
- Middle District Court of Louisiana
- Western District Court of Louisiana
- Eastern District Court of Louisiana
- Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
By: Danny Russell, Esq.
Information furnished herein is only general and not a substitute for personalized legal advice. ****The photograph above is not a depiction of any actual event or scene, but merely a dramatization.