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Exploring the three types of personal injury compensation

On Behalf of | Sep 28, 2023 | Car Accidents

According to the New York Department of Health, auto accidents account for about $1.1 billion a year in medical costs. While not every case is due to the actions of someone else, many of those dollars represent people who were victims.

Suffering an injury due to someone else’s negligence can be a traumatic experience. Fortunately, the legal system provides avenues for individuals to seek compensation for their injuries. There are three types of personal injury compensation a person may get in this type of situation.

Economic damages

Economic damages are the most straightforward form of compensation in a personal injury case. These damages reimburse the victim for the tangible financial losses they incurred as a result of the accident.

This category includes medical costs, such as medical treatment, surgeries, hospital stays, prescription medications and ongoing therapy or rehabilitation. It also covers lost wages when an injury prevents a person from working. It may also cover any potential future income losses if the injury leads to long-term disability. Finally, economic losses include damage to the victim’s property, such as their vehicle.

Non-economic damages

Non-economic damages are less tangible but compensate the victim for the pain, suffering and emotional distress caused by the injury. They can include compensation for the physical and emotional pain the person endured due to the injury, psychological trauma, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder, and loss of quality of life.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are the least common type of compensation. Only a judge can award these, which usually only happens in cases where the defendant’s conduct was particularly egregious. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages do not reimburse the victim but rather punish the wrongdoer to deter similar behavior in the future.

Personal injury compensation can take various forms, each serving a distinct purpose in helping victims recover from their ordeal. Understanding these three types of compensation empowers injured parties to seek the appropriate recourse for their specific circumstances.


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