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What Damages Can I Seek In A Personal Injury Lawsuit?

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After someone inflicts a serious injury on you or a loved one, you likely deserve compensation. In the legal profession, we often refer to these losses as “damages.”

Florida law separates damages into different types and has distinct rules about how you prove and calculate each. With sufficient knowledge about how the courts categorize damages, you can be in a better position to recover as much money as possible.

Learn about the different types of damages you can seek in a personal injury case and how Gordon & Partners fights for the injured in Florida.

The 3 Types of Damages You Can Recover in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

No matter the type of accident, your damages will fall into one of the three following categories.

1. Economic Losses

You can seek compensation for the financial damages you suffered because of an injury due to someone’s negligence. You might also hear people refer to these as “special damages.” 

Any of the accident’s consequences that impact your finances are items you can claim. This includes expenses you may incur far into the future. Consider common examples.

Expenses for Medical Services

The defendant or insurance company has to pay for medical expenses that result from the incident, including tests, diagnoses and treatments. Costs for overnight stays, consultations, follow-up visits, rehabilitation therapy and home health care are some of the other damages you can claim as long they directly relate to your injuries from the accident.

Supplies, Equipment and Prescriptions

In addition to your treatment, the settlement or award should cover the medical equipment and supplies you require. For example, you might need a wheelchair or other mobility aid. They must also cover your prescription medication.

Repair or Replacement of Property and the Loss of Use of Property

If the at-fault party’s actions damaged your property, you can recover the costs to restore it to its fair market value at the time of the accident. Additionally, if you cannot use your property for a certain time because of your injuries, you could recover damages for the loss of the use of that item.

Related Out-of-Pocket Costs

Seeking medical treatment can bring along any number of related expenses. For instance, you have the travel expenses of getting to and from treatment. You may also have to modify your home or vehicle to accommodate a disability. It might even be necessary to pay someone to handle chores and tasks that you used to do yourself.

Lost Income and Benefits

If you have to take time away from work to recover from your injuries, you can claim compensation for lost earnings and benefits, as well as the paid time off you use. Furthermore, the wounds from an accident could rob you of your ability to return to the same kind of work. If the accident impacted your future earning capacity for any length of time, you should calculate the loss and fight for those damages, too. 

Funeral and Burial Costs

Wrongful death cases are a type of personal injury suit that families file on behalf of a deceased loved one. In addition to all of the preceding expenses that the deceased or your family suffers, you can also claim reasonable costs for your loved one’s funeral and burial.

2. Noneconomic Losses

Not all damages have a direct financial expense; however, they still have a detrimental impact on your life. Legal professionals may call these noneconomic, or “general,” damages. The following noneconomic damages are also recoverable.

Pain and Suffering

The most common type of noneconomic damages you may hear about is pain and suffering. You are able to recover expenses due to the physical pain you endure, as well as any emotional distress.

Emotional distress and suffering can take many forms. For example, you may have a permanent loss of function that impacts your enjoyment of life. This includes being unable to engage in the same hobbies and activities as before, which can be depressing.

Furthermore, if you have a disability or can no longer perform the same kind of employment, you may feel a sense of inadequacy or anxiety. Permanent scars and disfigurement can also cause you to become self-conscious, impacting your mental health. 

The accident could also trigger a phobia, anxiety or depression that makes it difficult for you to engage in certain activities or go to specific locations. Any of these circumstances and many others can give you a valid claim for noneconomic damages.

Loss of Companionship, Services, Support or Consortium

The psychological effects of trauma can also affect an injured person’s family relationships and home life. You may no longer be able to handle certain tasks around the house, placing an additional workload on others. 

Likewise, treatment or rehabilitation can limit the time family members can spend together. A parent or partner may no longer be able to supply the same emotional support and guidance as before, especially if there is a cognitive or mental injury.

Regrettably, an accident can also impair sexual functions or the ability to provide and receive romantic affection, which can strain a marriage. The legal term for this is loss of consortium, and the court or an insurer may offer compensation for this negative consequence as well.

3. Punitive Damages

If the at-fault party’s actions were flagrant or intentional, you might also be able to pursue punitive damages. Unlike economic and noneconomic damages, this award is not compensatory. Rather, these serve to punish the defendant and discourage anyone else from engaging in such activity.

Recovering punitive damages is less common but still possible, which is why you should discuss your situation with an attorney from our team at Gordon & Partners. We can help you figure out if it is worth fighting for punitive damages in addition to general and special damages.

Circumstances that might merit punitive damages include the following.

A Drunk or Impaired Driving Accident

If a person is under the influence of drugs or alcohol and causes an accident that results in serious injuries or death, you may be able to claim punitive damages for the crime. Such damages can also be possible when a business or other organization employed the driver and did not comply with industry safety rules, such as adequate rest periods.

A Manufacturing or Parts Defect

A company that sells defective products or ignores regulations may be liable for punitive damages. This is especially true when the company was aware of the defect and failed to take action to address it.

Intentional Assault or Battery

You could sue for punitive damages after a physical altercation or attack that results in severe injuries.

Employer Negligence 

While workers’ compensation often handles accidents on the job, negligence or willful disregard by your employer could merit a personal injury case. You could gain punitive damages if your employer deliberately ignored safety regulations or employee concerns.

Pursue Maximum Compensation With Help From Gordon & Partners

You should be able to easily recover full compensation after someone injures you. However, doing so can be difficult, especially if you have to confront a large corporation or insurance company. Plus, managing the process is all the more challenging when you’re recuperating from your injuries.

You don’t have to navigate your case alone. Request a free, no-obligation review of your claim from our team at Gordon & Partners. With over 200 years of combined experience, we level the playing field for the injured and fight tirelessly for your rights.

Further Resources

Verdicts & Settlements

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company product liability.

R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company product liability.

Jury verdict for the wrongful death of a 63-year-old man survived by his widow.

Verdict against cigarette manufacturer for family of local lawyer who died of lung cancer.

Verdict against tobacco manufacturer for family of man who died from lung cancer as a result of smoking.

View more results
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Gordon & Partners - For The Injured®


Gordon & Partners, P.A.

4114 Northlake Blvd
Palm Beach Gardens, FL 33410

Phone: 1-561-333-3333

Gordon & Partners - Plantation

8201 Peters Road, Suite 4000
Plantation, Florida 33324

Phone: 1-754-333-3333

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729 SW Federal Highway #212
Stuart, FL 34994

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777 Yamato Road, Suite 520
Boca Raton, FL 33487

Phone: 1-855-722-2552