What Money is Awarded at the End of a Lawsuit?

Jun 10

One of the most common types of lawsuits is a personal injury lawsuit. In these types of lawsuits, victims sue some other party or parties to recover financial compensation for injuries and damages that were sustained because of some incident. I’m interested in the calculations involved to reach the monetary award at the end of a trial. Because of this, I decided to do a little research on the specific components of this awarded compensation.

In lawsuits, a money award is often referred to as damages. Damages are used to pay the victim for some incident or loss. Based on the type of lawsuit, the parts that make up the damages can vary. I decided to focus my research on the damage calculation in personal injury lawsuits. I came across a particularly helpful article by Evans Moore LLC that thoroughly defined personal injury damages.

The article explained that personal injury victims could collect damages for all losses and expenses caused by the incident in question. It noted that these damages include medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, property damage, and out-of-pocket costs. However, the article pointed out that there can be other types of damages beyond the ones listed above.

Pain and suffering damages refer to compensable damages paid for physical and emotional pain incurred by the victim because of the incident. These damages might cover damages for aches, scarring, or depression caused by the accident. These type of damages also includes pain and suffering that could reasonably occur in the future because of the incident.

Medical expenses can include amounts paid for past and future medical care. These expenses include future out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as the costs incurred for the payment of a wheelchair, automobile modifications, or rehabilitation efforts.

Lost wages are damages associated with an injury that has impaired one’s earning capacity. When calculating injury to earning capacity, the law examines the disability in question, the effect that disability will have on the victim’s ability to work, how much the disability will affect the victim’s earning capacity, and other factors. For lost wages, a victim is not limited to recovery for wages lost before trial because of the injury. Rather, damages for lost wages include compensation or anticipated impairment of the victim’s future earning capacity. Recovery of lost wages does not require the victim to be working at the time of trial.

In my research, I discovered that the legal concept of damages is pretty complex, even when explicitly focused on personal injury lawsuits. Damages themselves are split up into a set of different types of more-specific damages. These damages are where the actual considerations and calculations are involved, and these calculations are added together ultimately to create the final amount awarded to the plaintiff.

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