If you are hurt in a car crash or other situation where you have a personal injury caused by another person, then you may be able to seek personal injury compensation. This compensation includes both compensatory and punitive damages.
Compensatory damages are damages that reimburse you for any of the expenses related to your injuries. On the other hand, punitive damages are used to penalize the other party for their actions that led to your injuries.
Understanding compensatory damages
Compensatory damages are damages that cover costs you’ve had to handle as a result of your injuries. For example, some of the compensatory damages you may receive include:
- Compensation for lost wages
- Compensation for damage to your vehicle
- Money for your medical care in the past, currently and in the future
- Financial support for the loss of earning capacity
- Funeral costs (in wrongful death cases)
Essentially, compensatory damages are there to make the other party pay for the damage that they have caused.
Understanding punitive damages
Punitive damages are different because they are a penalty instead of just covering the expenses of the injured party. With punitive damages, victims may be able to receive compensation for pain and suffering, for example, which could add up to thousands of dollars.
How can you give yourself the best chance of getting the compensation you deserve?
If you want the best opportunity to collect the compensation you deserve, then it’s important to have an independent medical examination and to keep track of all your expenses. When your attorney reaches out to the insurance company, the insurance company may ask that you go through another medical exam (the independent medical exam) to be sure that your injuries are what your personal, private medical team has diagnosed.
You should also give all of your financial documents to your attorney, so they can put together a claim based on how much you have spent and are expected to spend in the future due to your injuries. Having this paperwork ready makes it easier to make a solid claim for compensation and to know when an insurance company isn’t offering a settlement that is reasonable.