How are Damages Established in a Personal Injury Claim?
Personal injury cases often involve car accidents, medical malpractice, slips and falls, lapses in workplace safety, and defective products. Though this type of lawsuit is common, each one affects the plaintiff, or the person filing the lawsuit, differently. If you live in San Antonio and are considering legal action in a personal injury case, you are probably asking, “How are damages established in a personal injury claim?” Thankfully, the San Antonio accident attorneys of Carabin Shaw can provide you with the information you need to know.Understanding Tort Law and Damages
A tort is a civil wrong that causes injury or harm to another party either on purpose or by mistake. Personal injury cases fall under tort law. According to the Legal Information Institute at Cornell Law School, people choose to pursue a tort claim because they want to shift the “burden of loss” from themselves, the injured party, to the party responsible for their injuries. In a successful tort case, the at-fault party is who pays personal injury compensation, or damages.
Though personal injury cases can be complicated, a San Antonio personal injury attorney knows that there are only two major types of damages that the court can award. These include:
- Compensatory damages: Compensatory damages are the primary way to repay an injury victim for losses related to an accident.
- Punitive Damages: Punitive damages extend beyond actual, quantifiable damages. In some cases, the harm to the plaintiff is so significant, and the defendant's behavior is so disgraceful that the court orders the defendant to pay more money as punishment for the heinous act.
There are several categories of compensatory damages that your personal injury attorney in San Antonio will help you review. Depending on the accident, one or more of the following may apply:
- Special compensatory damages, also known as “actual damages,” are quantifiable. Their purpose is to help you recover the money you lost as a result of your injury. They can include medical expenses, lost wages, lost benefits, transportation, property replacement, and more. Holding onto medical records, repair receipts, accident reports, and other documents will help your lawyer best estimate the amount of money you deserve in special damages.
- General damages are more difficult to gauge because they have no exact monetary equivalent. They can include lost future wages, mental anguish, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of opportunity, and others. If you think these damages apply to your case, an attorney is crucial for your success because calculating general damages without an understanding of past legal precedent is difficult.
While you may want a simple answer to “how are personal injury damages calculated?” there is no set formula, and you will likely need a lawyer to review your case and determine what types of damages you should pursue.Finding the Right Attorney for Your Case
Surviving an accident is difficult enough without having to navigate the complicated legal system alone. Many victims search for the “San Antonio best personal injury lawyer” and “best personal injury lawyer near me.” If you are in the same position, choose Carabin Shaw to represent you. We have decades of experience representing San Antonians, and we would like to leverage that expertise to help you.
One of our San Antonio accident attorneys will sit down with you for a no-obligation free consultation. We’ll use this time to listen to you, look over your case materials, and answer your questions. All of our contracts are contingency fee, which means that we will not charge you unless we win your case.
To speak to an attorney in San Antonio, dial 210-222-2288 or call us toll-free at 800-862-1260.