Did you sustain significant injuries or property loss because of an accident? Do you want to file a claim, but are unsure of the restitution you can seek? An attorney can make the claims process easier for you, especially during a time when focusing on your health is paramount. However, even with the help of legal counsel, you will need to understand the damages you can file for and how hard each claim is to prove to those liable and a judge.
- General Damages
If you have discussed personal injury claims with anyone, you have likely heard the phrase pain and suffering. Psychological trauma falls under the category of general damages, or those injuries difficult to prove because they are not concrete or tangible. General injuries often require expert support, and juries and judges will need someone to draw a link between your accident and the psychological injury. Most attorneys will try for pain and suffering or loss of consortium, but restitution for these injuries is challenging to prove.
- Compensatory Damages
Compensatory damages are tangible losses and easy to prove with receipts, invoices and paystubs. The primary reason to sue for damages is compensation and restitution. Your medical expenses, lost wages and even property repairs are all covered under compensatory damages. While these losses are easy enough to prove and validate, restitution depends on the proof of liability. If you cannot show the other party is responsible for your losses, you may not win a settlement or judgment. Thankfully, law firms often have private investigators on staff to help in the collecting of evidence.
- Punitive Damages
Punitive damages punish the at-fault party. While any accident victim may want to seek revenge and punish the person or entity responsible for their accident, the justice system is not intent on punishing people without cause. While you can seek punitive damages for your injuries, you need to prove intent or criminal neglect. If the at-fault party unknowingly puts you in harm’s way, they are not an aggressor. If you suspect foul play regarding your accident, tell your lawyer and let them investigate your claim.
Personal injury cases range from simplistic to complex. However, you want a lawyer by your side in either circumstance because they are legal experts. Call a Philadelphia, PA, personal injury lawyer, like Wieand Law Firm to discuss your claim and to clarify which damages best suit your case. You may find several attorneys and firms that offer a free consultation.