On Personal Injury Cases and Compensatory Damages

how to file personal injury lawsuit

Accidents or injuries are very common; they can be of varying degrees having minor to major effects. When you choose to go forward in order to protect your rights after going through an accident, you are subject to a personal injury case. Although,  it is possible for you to take care of your case without legal assistance, it’s better to seek the help of a personal injury attorney. Your very own attorney will take care of the negotiations and paperwork; furthermore, an attorney is what you need in order to reach a negotiation that is in your favor.

Personal Injury

A personal injury case is a legal dispute that is filed by someone who was harmed or injured by someone else, who might be legally responsible. Although formal lawsuits can be filed, most personal injury disputes are solved through a negotiation (with a written agreement), also known as informal settlement. In a case that happens in, let’s say, Huntington Beach, you may sought help from a personal injury attorney in Huntington Beach to take care of your lawsuit or negotiation.

damages for personal injury

Types of Damages

When it comes to personal injury cases, damages to the injured party or the plaintiff are awarded by money. However, it is important to note that there are different types of damages. A common type of damage is known as compensatory; that is, they have the intention to compensate the injured party. Another type of damage is punitive in  nature that goes on top of compensatory damages; this usually is given when the defendant’s actions are considered outrightly careless.


Compensatory damages intends to equate the consequences of the accident or injury into money form. Examples of compensatory damages are the following:

  • Emotional Distress – this is to compensate the plaintiff for the psychological impact of the accident, usually a serious one. Psychological impacts may include heightened anxiety, sleeplessness, panic attacks, and the like.
  • Loss of property- For any property or asset (clothes, car, etc.)  that was lost or damaged, the plaintiff is entitled to a reimbursement.
  • Salary and wages – If the accident has had an impact on your income or say, your capacity to earn in the future were it not for the accident, you are entitled for a compensation.
  • Medical treatment – Almost always, personal injury cases include costs of the medical care the plaintiff receives because of the accident.
  • Loss of consortium – When the accident or the injury has affected your relationship with your spouse; for instance,  it has led you to the inability to maintain a sexual relationship, you are entitled for compensation.


Punitive damages do not follow the same goals as to that of compensatory damages. If compensatory damages were aimed at making something whole again, punitive damages are centered to punish the defendant for misconduct in order to make them deterrent. In other words, punitive damages are served to the plaintiff in order to teach the defendant a lesson.

Indeed, whether it’s issues on business or issues regarding injuries and accidents; lawyers play a very important role in helping us protect our rights. That being said, lawyers are needed when it comes to issues involving our life, liberty, or freedom.