Today’s post is brought to you and contributed by Abby Locker.
Experiencing a personal injury can be financially and emotionally devastating. You must recover from physical injuries, while also managing the financial setbacks related to the incident. Here’s some information to get started on your journey of understanding your options if you experience a personal injury.
Types of personal injuries
As the Schwartzapfel personal injury lawyers White Plains New York point out, there are several common types of personal injuries. Auto accidents, workplace injuries, and medical malpractice cases are the most common categories. Recovering from any personal injury depends on several factors:
- Victim’s personal insurance: The victim may have insurance to cover certain costs related to a personal injury. If the other driver is determined to be at fault in an auto accident, for example, the victim’s insurance company may reimburse the victim for car damage. Medical insurance can cover medical costs. Most insurance policies, however, have a cap on the amount paid on any claim.
- Workers compensation: All states require employers to carry workers compensation insurance, which is designed to pay medical costs and lost wages for workers who are injured on the job. Just as with personal insurance, there may be limits on the dollar amount paid to a victim.
- Legal experts: If insurance coverage is not in place, or if the damages exceed payments from insurance policies, you may need to consult with a personal injury attorney who can represent you in a legal action.
Consult with your insurance agent regarding insurance coverage, so that you can determine the amount of damages that will not be covered by insurance.
Fortunately, many people in society are taking steps to limit the risk of personal injuries. In the last few decades, it’s become common to use designated drivers to prevent drunken driving injuries. Mobile phones have made it much easier for drinkers to get another driver to take them home.
In addition, successful businesses now take steps to increase worker safety on job sites to reduce the risk of worker injury.
Finally, technology has made it much easier for consumers to find information on personal injuries and determine how they can recover financially.
Personal injury cases
Personal injury cases are considered civil actions, rather than criminal actions. A person who sues and wins in a personal injury case is typically entitled to damages. The damages may be compensatory, punitive, or both. State laws regarding personal injury cases can vary widely from state to state. However, these terms apply to most personal injury cases, regardless of the state:
- Compensatory damages: As the name implies, these damages are intended to compensate the victim for any financial, physical and emotional damage due to the injury. The idea is to restore the victim to the position that he or she was in before the injury. Special damages refer to monetary losses and general damages compensate the victim for non-monetary losses.
- Monetary losses: This type of damage award compensates the victim for medical and rehabilitation costs, and any future medical costs may be included in the damage award calculation. If the victim must live with a disability, that cost may also be included. Wages lost while recovering from the injury are assessed, along with the cost of any damaged property, such as a car repair.
- Punitive damages: These damages are assessed to punish the defendant for causing the injury. Punitive damage awards also serve as a deterrent for other people who may engage in the same risky behavior. While these damages are not awarded in every case, the dollar amount can be substantial.
Speak with an attorney so that you understand the types damages that may apply to your injury, and how state law may impact your legal case.
If you experience a personal injury, it may take a team of people to help you recover. In addition to family members and friends, seek out an insurance expert and an attorney who can help you navigate this difficult process.