Common and well-known personal injury damages that people claim are medical expenses and loss of income. However, there are numerous other types of damages that may be compensable, depending upon the nature and extent of the accident.
Special Damages in Personal Injury Cases
The most common type of damages for which victims seek recompense are special damages. These are the tangible losses incurred in the accident, including medical expenses and lost wages. These damages are easily quantifiable using medical bills, work stubs and other similar documentation.
Some of the other special damages that may pertain to a personal injury case include:
- bills for complementary and/or specialized care such as acupuncturists, chiropractors, surgeons, etc;
- medications and treatments;
- medical equipment;
- costs associated with hiring others to perform normal duties of cleaning, home maintenance, gardening, etc. that injuries keep you from performing;
- transportation relating to medical care (e.g., gas mileage compensation); and
- rehabilitation and physical therapy.
General Damages in Personal Injury Cases
Monetary losses are not the only compensable expenses in a personal injury case. General damages are those that are not physical or financial, per se. They are intangible losses experienced as a result of a serious injury, such as:
- emotional distress;
- pain and suffering;
- mental anguish;
- inability to perform daily life activities;
- loss of consortium; and
- diminished enjoyment in life.
While special damages are relatively simple to prove via receipts and such, general damages may be considerably more difficult to demonstrate. It generally takes the assistance of an attorney to calculate and collect sufficient evidence accurately and effectively to make sure all a victim’s general damages are accounted for.
An Important Note about Comparative Negligence
It’s important to note if you are partially at fault for the accident, the amount of compensation you receive for damages will be reduced.
Colorado follows what’s known as the 50 percent comparative negligence rule. This says that a plaintiff still can collect compensation in a personal injury case if he or she was 50 percent or less at fault. If you were 51 percent or more at fault in the accident, you will not qualify for restitution.
So if you were less at fault than the other party, you still can file for compensation. Your settlement will be reduced in direct proportion to your degree of fault. For example, if you were 30 percent at fault in a truck accident with $100,000 worth of damages, your settlement will be reduced to $70,000.
Speak to a Personal Injury Lawyer
It’s always a good idea to work with a personal injury lawyer when filing a claim to make sure you account for all personal injury damages.
For legal counsel in or around Aurora, contact personal injury attorney D.J. Banovitz for a free consultation. You can reach us by calling (303) 300-5060 today.