Meliha Perez Halpern is now Senior Counsel at ChasenBoscolo

The 2 Most Common Compensatory Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Being involved in a vehicle collision can be a traumatizing experience. Not only do you have to deal with the physical and emotional repercussions of your injuries, but more often than not, your financial well-being is also affected.

When it comes to damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit—specifically vehicular collisions—you may be able to receive compensatory damages. Let’s explore what this means and what it entails. Each situation is different of course, but it’s best to understand what damages are available to personal injury plaintiffs. Your best resource will always be an experienced, competent personal injury firm like Pérez Halpern, LLC.  

General Compensatory Damages

This is one of the two types of compensatory damages that an individual may receive after successfully litigating a personal injury lawsuit. In this case, the term “general” relates to compensation that is “typically” sustained during a collision for abstract, non-monetary damages like mental or emotional distress, disfigurement, pain and suffering, and loss of companionship.

These non-tangible damages are not easily measured or defined, and must be determined on a case by case basis, or through precedent cases in the state. The concept is ultimately determined for a specific, personal harm done to the plaintiff.

Special Compensatory Damages

“Special compensation” attempts to make the plaintiff whole again. Special compensation may pay for money lost during recuperation from an injury or incurred expenses. As with general compensatory damages, this varies based on the injuries sustained by each plaintiff. Special damages may cover such things as medical bills, household expenses, loss of earnings, cost of future medical care, damage to personal or real property, etc. Unlike general damages, these damages are quantifiable.

Depending on your case, your attorney may allege many types of special damage claims and the amount you need to make you whole again. Award amounts for special compensatory damages vary dramatically, as each case will bring its own unique set of circumstances. Plaintiffs should be encouraged that there is no cap for damages in Virginia or D.C., though there is a cap in the state of Maryland.

Other Types Of Damages

Injury cases might also bring with it other types of awards, known as “punitive” damages and “wrongful death” damages. In wrongful death, the monetary award aims to help the surviving family members by providing enough money for a funeral and burial, and accounting for emotional distress and loss of companionship.

Punitive damages address the behavior of the defendant, are intended to be used like a punishment, and are used to deter future similar behaviors, if it’s been proven that their behavior was malicious, egregious, recklessly negligent, or especially harmful.

Do you live in the Maryland, Virginia, or D.C. area and have recently sustained an injury due to a vehicular collision? Personal injury lawsuits can be complex and you need an experienced professional by your side. Contact Pérez Halpern LLC at (301) 476-1020 today to get started on your case!

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