Personal Injury: Damages 101
At NYC law firm, Strazzullo Law Firm, we have been practice personal injury law for over 13 years. Our dedicated New York attorneys are experts at getting clients the compensation they deserve as victims of someone else’s negligence or intent. Compensation falls under the umbrella of damages, so we will give our readers an overview of legal damages so that readers may be able to better assess their damages and understand their cases. At Strazzullo Law Firm educating our clients and readers is one of our foremost goals.
In a personal injury case, money damages are paid to a victim (the plaintiff) by the person or entity that is legally responsible for the accident (the defendant or their insurer). Below is an explanation of damages that are common in most personal injury cases.
Compensatory Damages. This is the most common classification of damages. Compensatory damages are intended to make the injured plaintiff as “whole” again as possible from a monetary standpoint. This means reimbursing easily quantified damages like property damage, medical bills, and time away from work. But compensatory damages must also cover things like pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment.
Punitive Damages. While still awarded to the injured, punitive damages are geared more toward punishing the defendant for their conduct, rather than making the plaintiff “whole.” In cases where the defendant’s conduct is particularly careless or egregious, the plaintiff may be awarded punitive damages into the tens of millions of dollars; so most states have set a limit on the amount.