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Damages in personal injury cases

If you suffer an injury in an accident caused by another person's negligence you will likely have a lot of questions: How will I pay my medical bills? What can I do about missing work? Is it worth it to sue?

Determining whether it is appropriate to file a claim for damages is no easy task, but it may help to have an idea of how much your injury claim may be worth. Damages in injury claims can vary widely but there are a few basics that you should keep in mind. Primarily, damages fall into one of two categories.

Compensatory damages are meant to - you guessed it - compensate injury victims for their financial losses. Examples of compensatory damages may include the cost of repairs for any property damage, medical expenses and lost wages if the injury caused you to miss work. The straightforward nature of compensatory damages makes them fairly easy to calculate.

On the other hand, punitive damages are aimed at punishing the defendant for his or her conduct that contributed to the injury. This is meant to discourage them from acting similarly in the future, as well as to provide a deterrent to others. Many states have their own laws about when punitive damages may be awarded, and how much.

It should be noted that there is no guarantee that such damages will be awarded. What kind of compensation is granted to injury victims may be at the discretion of a judge, a jury or all parties and their representatives in the event of a settlement.

With that uncertainty in mind, it is important to do everything you can in order to preserve your rights and pursue what you are owed. Consider working with an experienced personal injury attorney. He or she will know the law and be able to preserve your interests while going after the compensation you deserve.

Source: Injured, "How Much Is Your Personal Injury Case Worth?" Andrew Lu, Jan. 16, 2013

Our firm handles a broad range of personal injury matters, including motor vehicle accidents. To learn more about related claims, please visit our website.

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