Often during civil lawsuits, the plaintiff will be directed by their lawyer to seek compensation for any loss that occurred during the incident in question. Although there are various ways to compensate a plaintiff, the most common of those is through monetary compensation. However, not everything can be presented as a reason for asking for monetary compensation. The following list details the types of damages that can be presented in court in order to receive monetary compensation.

Economic Damages

The most common of these are economic damages. These are introduced when the plaintiff has experienced a loss of profits, wages, and other types of earnings due to the incident. Calculating how much you are owed can be very difficult as every small and large amount of revenue must be taken into consideration. Thus, lawyers and the courts entrust this decision to forensic accounting firms that are experts in calculating and presenting an exact number for the courts to review. So, how do these firms provide such accurate numbers? They use a mixture of specific information from your case and a variety of statistics to determine the amount. You can appeal the number in court if you are not satisfied with it. However, if you cannot provide sufficient evidence that contradicts the firm’s results, it may be hard to have the court rule in your favor.

Non-Economic Damages

We spoke earlier about calculating economic damages such as medical expenses, repairing your vehicle and loss of profit, but what about intangible injuries? Intangible injuries are called Non-economic damages in a court of law; you might have also heard the term pain and suffering to describe it. This would include being so paranoid that you lose the ability to live a normal life. Non-economic damages can be presented to the judge if you can prove that they began after the incident and have cost you mental harm. Calculating a dollar number for non-economic damages is a very difficult process. However, courts have produced a few methods to at least estimate it. One of these is through the use of the daily method. The daily method asks how your day would have been different if you didn’t have to live with this pain and suffering. Another one is the comparison of your life prior to the accident, did you earn more money, did you have potential opportunities that you may have lost now? This may be one of the hardest damages to proof, but it’s not impossible.

Punitive Damages

This personal injury attorney explains how punitive damages are assessed when the offender was especially reckless and is intended to be punished. They are also a means of preventing the offender from being able to repeat their actions and potentially hurt other people in the community. Some states have enacted the ability to ask for monetary damages in order to not only punish the offender further but also set a public example of what is in store for anyone seeking to harm another intentionally. These are calculated by using the term “relatively proportionate.” This means that they cannot exceed four times the amount of compensatory damages. Many states have placed a cap depending on the nature of the situation; for example, medical malpractice has a limit of $250,000 to $750,000 depending on your jurisdiction. 

Understanding what you can and how to calculate your damages in a court of law is vital to seeing a positive outcome from your case. Always work with your lawyer to conduct an audit of all your damages and be ready to defend those numbers when confronted by the judge.
If you found this article helpful, check out “Who is at Fault in a Personal Injury Case?”