In filing a personal injury lawsuit, you may be eligible to receive compensation for damages. In New York City, thousands of millions of dollars are paid out every year in personal injury settlements.
If you have been injured in an incident and are looking to sue an at-fault party for your losses, you may be interested in learning about what your settlement can cover. Depending on your case, there are different types of damages you may be able to receive coverage.
Two (2) types of damages can make up your settlement package. You may be familiar with compensatory damages, which cover basic compensation for any damages or losses you suffer as a result of an accident.
Then there are exemplary damages, which may not apply in all cases. These refer to extra damages and may be awarded to a claimant in addition to the tangible losses they have suffered after an accident. Exemplary damages are typically given if an at-fault party’s actions were especially harmful and/or malicious.
Keep reading to learn more about exemplary damages, as well as other types of compensation you may be eligible for.
For a better idea of what to expect from your settlement package, one of our skilled lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help. You can book a consultation with a member of our legal team by visiting us online or by calling 1-516-342-2200 today!
What Are Compensatory Damages?
The main types of damages that are assessed in personal injury lawsuits are compensatory damages. They typically cover basic losses after an accident, which are claimed by the plaintiff. Most people are able to receive compensatory damages as a part of their settlement package if they win their case.
Several items are covered by compensatory damages. These items can be categorized into two (2) subsets of damages: economic and non-economic.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages can cover all financial losses that result from an accident. They account for the expenses an injured party may have incurred due to an accident, as well as any loss of income.
The following are a few of the items that may be covered under compensatory economic damages:
- Medical expenses for treatments, procedures, doctor visits, hospital stays, etc.
- Coverage for future medical expenses, depending on the claimant’s injuries
- Lost wages or income if an individual’s injury prevented them from working after an accident
- Future lost wages or income due to ongoing injury
- Expenses for loss or damage of property such as a home or vehicle
Compensation for economic damages depends on the severity and extent of the accident in which an individual suffered losses. If you are not sure whether or not you are eligible to receive coverage for economic damages after an accident, we suggest you go over the details of your case with a skilled lawyer.
At Schwartzapfel Lawyers, we are dedicated to helping you maximize your settlement so that you receive all the money and benefits you are entitled to. Give us a call at 1-516-342-2200 to speak with one of our knowledgeable personal injury attorneys at no charge. Alternatively, you can schedule your free consultation and/or case evaluation when you visit us online.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are not based on expenses or lost income. Instead, they are based on the severity of losses an individual suffers. They aim to compensate an afflicted party for any long-term issues and other non-financial problems they are facing after an incident.
Under non-economic compensatory damages, you may be eligible to receive monetary compensation for:
- Pain and suffering caused by an incident
- Emotional distress or mental health issues as a result of an incident
- Permanent disfigurement, disability, or long-term impairment
- Loss of ability to enjoy life or partake in normal activities due to an incident
Non-economic damages can range in amount depending on the extent to which an accident impacts the afflicted party. While they are not as easily calculated as economic expenses, which can be established through documentation, a lawyer can help you determine how much non-economic damages you can claim and expect to receive.
Because every case is different, there is no set settlement amount you can expect to get from your lawsuit. One of the detail-oriented lawyers at Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help you calculate the compensatory damages you are eligible for. For more information, please call 1-516-342-2200 now!
What Are Exemplary Damages?
Exemplary damages, otherwise referred to as punitive damages, are extra damages that may be awarded to an afflicted party alongside compensatory damages.
Unlike compensatory damages, they are not claimed by the afflicted party when filing a lawsuit. Instead, they are ruled on by a court depending on the nature of the accident and the at-fault party’s actions. They exist to hold an at-fault party accountable in cases in which their actions are considered especially harmful.
The following are a few factors that are taken into consideration when awarding exemplary damages:
- The character or nature of an at-fault party’s actions
- The intentions or state of mind of an at-fault party leading up to their actions
- The degree to which an action was harmful or malicious
- The extent to which an action goes against public justice or morality
In personal injury cases, exemplary damages may be available in cases where medical malpractice or product liability are the cause of an accident or loss.
Medical professionals are held to a code of ethics and professionalism in the treatment of patients. Actions that may harm a patient seeking medical support can be considered malicious.
Product liability cases result from products that are defective or harmful to consumers. Cases in which a product developer or company owner knowingly sells a harmful product to maximize profits may be charged with the coverage of exemplary damages. Product liability accidents also often potentially harm more than just one individual.
These are just two (2) examples of cases in which exemplary damages may be applied. There are many different types of situations in which a claimant may be awarded exemplary damages.
If you think you or a loved one may be eligible for exemplary damage coverage, a member of the experienced team of Schwartzapfel Lawyers can help guide you through the process. To speak with the right lawyer for your needs, dial 1-516-342-2200 now!
Receiving Your Settlement
Whether or not you are eligible to receive exemplary damage coverage, you must calculate your damages and losses as a result of an accident. Ideally, damages should be calculated during the initial stages of a lawsuit, well before you will be able to negotiate and receive your settlement.
For purposes of calculating compensatory damages, it is very important to keep a record of all documents and evidence related to the accident. You must be able to provide proof of medical expenses, property damage expenses, as well as lost income.
Once you have calculated the economic damages you want to claim, your lawyer can help you determine if there are any non-economic damages you may be eligible for. This information can help you determine how much to sue an at-fault party for after an accident, as well as prevent the opposing party from offering you a financial settlement that is well below the amount you are entitled to receive.
When Will I Receive A Settlement?
Lawsuits can be complicated, lengthy, and draining. It can take months or even years before a case is settled and the claimant receives a compensation package for their losses.
The process of receiving a settlement often begins when an opposing party makes a settlement offer. From there, you and your lawyer can either accept the offer [as is] or negotiate for a better deal.
In some cases, both parties may be unable to agree on a settlement, and the issue is taken to trial. Trials can take years, and it may take even longer for you to receive your financial award, if you receive one at all. That’s why most lawyers, even those on the opposing side, will try their best to settle outside of court, as trials can be time-consuming and taxing for all parties involved.
Nonetheless, most cases in which exemplary damages are awarded are those that have gone to court.
For more about damages in personal injury lawsuits, speak with the experienced lawyers of Schwartzapfel Lawyers today. To find the right lawyer for you and your case, give us a call at 1-516-342-2200 or visit us online.
But you shouldn’t wait, as your window to file a claim and recover the monetary damages you are entitled to may soon close forever. To keep this from happening, act now and have Schwartzapfel Lawyers fight for you!
DISCLAIMER: Nothing on this page should be considered legal advice. You should seek the appropriate counsel your situation requires. For more information, call 1-516-342-2200 now!
Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C. | Fighting For You
Annual Claims Report | Office of the New York City Comptroller Brad Lander
Injury Compensation: Types, Amounts & How To Claim | Forbes Advisor
Exemplary Damages | Wex | US Law – Cornell Law School