Every story about a personal injury lawsuit makes some reference to damages, noting how much the plaintiff is asking for and what kind. And a lot of specific legal terms get thrown around: general, special, and punitive damages.
But what do they mean? Are they available in every case? And are they capped? Here are seven of the most frequently asked questions, and a few answers:
Car Accident Claims: What Are General Damages?
General damages normally refer to those that lack monetary precision. Unlike the cost of car repair, these cover things like loss of consortium, loss of companionship, mental anguish, and loss of enjoyment of life. As such, they may be more difficult to prove.
Car Accident Claims: What Are Special Damages?
Though the terminology may sound reversed (and it is in contract disputes) these refer to medical expenses, property damage, and other specific monetary losses, like the loss of income, now and in the future.
When Can You Sue for Punitive Damages?
In some injury cases, the defendant’s actions are so egregious they will warrant additional monetary compensation as punishment, beyond compensating the victim for losses. Punitive damages are normally reserved for cases where the defendant’s conduct goes beyond merely negligent or intentional and becomes reckless, malicious, fraudulent, wanton, or outrageous.
What Are Hedonic Damages?
Rarely used as a legal term, these refer to the intangible impact an injury has on your life, and can generally fall under pain and suffering or loss of enjoyment of life.
When Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering?
How injured do you have to be to recover from pain and suffering? These are normally reserved for severe physical injuries that cause physical or mental anguish for a period of time following an accident.
What Damages Are Awarded in Wrongful Death Lawsuits?
These may depend on the type of lawsuit being filed and each state’s law. Wrongful death claims can be unique, in that they involve more speculative damage estimates, based on the victim’s life expectancy.
How Do Damage Caps Work?
Most states have various damage cap laws that apply to how much a person may win in a lawsuit over a personal injury that they may sustain. Tennessee is no different in this respect. The legislature has long recognized that it is important to apply these caps in order to limit the liability of any given individual or corporation.
The cap for the state of Tennessee in the vast majority of personal injury cases is $750,000 for non-economic damages.
For more information on personal injury compensations and how they might relate to your claims, contact us today!