The Two Types of Damages in Personal Injury Cases

types of damages

When you’ve been injured due to someone else’s negligence, it’s only fair that you receive compensation for the losses you’ve suffered. In personal injury cases, you may be entitled to recover damages – a legal term for the compensation awarded to make the victim “whole” again. However, not all damages are the same.

In these cases, there are two primary categories of damages that may come into play: compensatory and punitive.

Compensatory Damages – Covering Economic and Non-Economic Losses

Compensatory damages are by far the most common form of damages awarded in personal injury cases. As the name implies, these damages are designed to compensate the injured party for the losses they have suffered as a direct result of their injury.

Compensatory damages typically include two subcategories:

Economic Damages

These are the objectively verifiable monetary losses associated with the injury, such as:

  • Medical expenses (including future medical costs)
  • Lost wages and diminished earning capacity
  • Property damage repair or replacement costs
  • Other out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages aim to compensate for the subjective, non-monetary impacts of an injury, like:

  • Physical pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium (for spouses)
  • Permanent disfigurement or scarring

Calculating non-economic damages is more complex, as there is no objective bill or receipt to point to. Our personal injury attorneys leverage proven methods, expert testimony, and persuasive evidence to justly quantify these very real “general damages.”

Punitive Damages – Punishing Egregious Misconduct

Punitive damages are where things can get substantially more lucrative for personal injury plaintiffs. Unlike compensatory damages aimed at making the victim whole, punitive damages are intended to punish the defendant for particularly egregious, willful, or malicious conduct.

In Nevada, punitive damages may be awarded when the defendant’s actions demonstrate “oppression, fraud or malice, express or implied.” The purpose is to make an example of the defendant and discourage similar grave misbehavior in the future.

However, punitive damages are not awarded in every personal injury case. The defendant’s conduct must clear a high bar of recklessness or intentional wrongdoing. When warranted, our attorneys will vigorously pursue punitive damages to maximize our client’s recovery and hold bad actors fully accountable.

Factors Influencing Damage Awards in Personal Injury Claims

While the three main categories of damages are consistent across personal injury cases, the specific types and amounts awarded can vary tremendously based on several key factors:

  • The severity, nature, and permanence of the injuries suffered
  • The age, earning potential, and circumstances of the injured party
  • The availability and strength of evidence documenting losses
  • Statutory laws and legal precedents in Nevada regarding damages
  • The county/jurisdiction where the case is tried
  • The skills and litigation strategy of the attorneys involved

Ultimately, every personal injury case is unique. At the Benjamin Durham Law Firm, we have the personal injury litigation experience to evaluate individual circumstances, identify all potential avenues for damages, and fight relentlessly to maximize our client’s recovery.

How Our Personal Injury Lawyers Help Pursue Damages

While the basic principles of damages may seem straightforward, the reality is that personal injury litigation is highly nuanced and complex. Insurance companies are notoriously adversarial, doing everything they can to minimize payouts.

This is why retaining a respected, accomplished Nevada personal injury lawyer is absolutely crucial. Our team will:

  • Conduct a thorough investigation to gather hard evidence of your damages
  • Consult leading medical and economic experts to quantify your losses
  • Identify all potentially applicable categories of compensatory damages
  • Determine if grounds exist for pursuing punitive damage claims
  • Handle all negotiations with insurers to recover maximum compensation
  • Take your case to trial if necessary and argue persuasively for full damages

Without skilled legal representation, you risk recovering only a fraction of the damages you are entitled to under Nevada law. The insurance companies know this – which is why they fight so hard to reduce payouts on unrepresented claims.

Discuss Your Case with Our Nevada Personal Injury Lawyers

At the Benjamin Durham Law Firm, we have recovered millions of dollars in damages for our clients suffering from all manner of preventable injuries. While no amount of money can undo the harm caused by another’s negligence, obtaining fair compensation is a crucial step in regaining your health and financial security.

We understand the physical, emotional, and economic turmoil personal injuries can unleash – because we’ve helped clients navigate it firsthand. Our compassionate team will treat you with the utmost dignity and respect as we tenaciously advocate for the maximum damages merited by the facts of your case.

If you or a loved one has suffered a personal injury in Nevada, we encourage you to contact us for a free, confidential consultation today. Let’s discuss your legal options and start building the strongest possible claim for the damages you deserve.

Author Bio

Benjamin Durham is the principal attorney and founder of Benjamin Durham Law Firm, a criminal defense law firm based in Las Vegas, NV. With over 20 years of experience in the legal field, he represents clients in both injury and criminal cases. Over his career, he has secured favorable verdicts for clients in both state and federal courts and successfully defended numerous high-profile prosecutions.

Ben’s exceptional legal skills and dedication to his clients have earned him recognition as a life member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. He also has been honored as one of the Top 100 trial lawyers by the National Trial Lawyers Association, further solidifying his reputation as a top-notch legal practitioner.

LinkedIn | State Bar Association | Avvo | Google