Understanding Your Personal Injury Damages

Personal injury provides victims the ability to seek damages against the individual or party who caused them harm. However, in many cases, plaintiffs do not fully comprehend the damages they are entitled to. Here, the personal injury attorneys at Parker, Pallett, Slezak and Russell explain several types of personal injury damages.

Personal injury damages are traditionally divided into four categories: compensatory damages, general damages, damages for wrongful death, and punitive damages. You can find a more in-depth explanation of these types of damages below.

Compensatory Damages

Compensatory damages serve as recompense for the monetary losses they sustained due to the injury or accident suffered. The amount of damages allotted will depend the plaintiff’s unique circumstances. Also note that there is no legal cap on the amount you can receive in special compensatory damages. Such can include compensation for current and future medical bills, current and future lost wages, costs associated with altered day-to-day living and more.

General Damages

General damages help to compensate a plaintiff for any non-monetary losses they sustained. This can include pain and suffering, emotional distress, loss of companionship and mental anguish. There are various ways to calculate this amount, such as the multiplier method or per diem method. The multiplier method uses a number—generally one and a half through four—and multiplies it by the amount of special damages. The per diem method calculates a dollar amount per day—usually based on daily work wages—and multiplies it by the number of days the plaintiff is affected by the accident. Adjusters and attorneys may also use a combination of the two methods, or computer algorithms, to determine an appropriate general damages amount. In Maryland, general damages are. As of 2017, the cap is at $830,000.

Wrongful Death

Damages for wrongful death serve to compensate the immediate family of a wrongful death victim for any losses and suffering incurred after the loved one’s death. This can include funeral expenses, pre-death medical costs, emotional distress, loss of companionship and loss of financial contribution. Wrongful death damages are also capped at $830,000 in Maryland—if there are two beneficiaries, however, damages are capped at $1,235,000.

Punitive Damages

In personal injury cases where the defendant’s actions towards the plaintiff were particularly reprehensible, as in cases of sexual assault or gross medical malpractice, a plaintiff may also be awarded punitive damages. These damages are not meant to compensate for any specific losses sustained by the plaintiff per say, but instead to punish the defendant for their egregious wrongdoing. This is often the case in high-profile cases against a major corporation or entity that has caused serious and widespread harm.

The Attorneys at Parker, Pallett, Slezak and Russell Want to Help You Seek Remuneration

If you have suffered due to an injury caused by the negligence of another, you deserve to be compensated for your losses. The Parker Team has been representing injured clients throughout White Marsh, Baltimore County, Harford County and central Maryland  for years. We are passionate about fighting for the rights of victims in and out of the courtroom, and hope that we can help you down the path to recovery and justice. Contact us today for a free consultation!

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