You normally see 3 types of damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits – General, Special, and Punitive. The first two are compensatory and their purpose is to provide the plaintiff monetary compensation for his or her economic losses. In other words, they are supposed to make the person whole again. The third type, punitive damages, are meant to punish the person responsible for the accident and hit it where it hurts him the most – in their wallet. The following is an in-depth look at these.
General (non-economic) damages – these damages compensate the victim for a number of their non-economic losses such as:
- emotional and mental anguish
- loss of care, companionship, and a decreased quality of life (paid to survivors in a wrongful death claim)
- permanent physical disfigurement
- permanent physical impairment
- physical pain and suffering
Losses of this nature are extremely difficult to calculate as you cannot assign an economic value to the distress you are experiencing. Consequently, the insurance company along with your Toronto personal injury lawyer may have a formula for calculating the amount of damages.
Special (economic) damages – the compensating of the plaintiff for economic losses they have suffered as a result of their injuries is the main intention of special damages. The courts will usually award compensation for a number of economic losses such as:
- Cost of repairing or replacing damaged property
- Loss of earning capacity
- Loss of items that are deemed irreplaceable
- Lost income (past and future)
- Past and future medical expenses
As with general damages, the intention of special damages is to compensate the injury victim (plaintiff) for the losses that the defendant has caused. The court will consider factors such as lost wages based on time away from the job, medical expenses, and property damage when calculating the amount of compensation to be awarded.
Punitive damages – just as the name implies, punitive damages are awarded to the plaintiff for the purpose of punishing the person who is at fault for the accident and your injuries. Rather than making the plaintiff whole again, these damages are intended to be a deterrent or warning to avoid this type of negligent or reckless behavior in the future. It also serves to notify other individuals that negligent or reckless behavior will not be tolerated by the courts.
If you’ve recently sustained injuries in a motor vehicle accident in the cities of Brantford, Cambridge, or Hamilton as well as anywhere else in Ontario Province, you could be entitled to compensation for general, special, and possibly punitive damages. However, this is extremely difficult to do on your own. So why risk settling for less? You owe it to yourself to retain the services of a personal injury lawyer. Not only will they be helpful but will go that extra mile to ensure that you are not inconvenienced while you recover. To help, they schedule appointments and visit you at the hospital or at home.