In order to prevail on your personal injury claim, you must be able to prove to the court that the defendant (responsible party) is responsible for your injuries. In most cases, this is done by showing the defendant’s negligence. To do this, the elements of negligence must be established based on the facts of your case. The elements of negligence are as follows:
If each element is established in the plaintiff’s case, the court may award damages for losses. Most damages awarded are compensatory in nature. They are to compensate the plaintiff for actual losses incurred or suffered. The court will consider many factors when determining the amount of compensatory damages. The factors may vary depending on the specific facts of your case. Some examples may be pain and suffering (physical and/or emotional), lost wages, medical expenses, future medical treatment, loss of consortium, loss of household duties, loss of quality of life, disfigurement, disability and loss of parental guidance.
Furthermore, some jurisdictions may award punitive damages, in addition to compensatory damages. The judge or jury may award the plaintiff punitive damages to punish the defendant for his or her conduct. Usually, the conduct must have been especially atrocious or shocking. These type of damages are also intended to discourage others from the same behavior. The type and availability of damages may depend on the facts of your case and the applicable law in your state. A personal injury attorney, in your area, will be able to tell you more about damages.
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