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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The dangers of texting while driving

Feb 15

Thousands of accidents that happen in U.S. roads each year have been associated with distracted driving. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), 3,328 people have been killed in accidents involving distracted driving in 2012, while an additional 421,000 people have suffered from injuries due to accidents involving a distracted driver.

According to the website of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ®, car-related accidents caused by a distracted driver can wreak havoc on the victims’ lives. Car crashes may not only cause irreversible injuries, it may ultimately result in deaths. And texting while driving is considered among the top culprits that notoriously take the lives of many American motorists and passengers on the road.

Texting is considered a complete driving distraction, as it takes all your attention away from the road and into texting. Here is how texting can profoundly impact your focus in driving:

Texting is a visual distraction

Texting requires you to see the screen of your mobile to obtain and send information. Unfortunately, taking your eyes off the road even just for split seconds may trigger life-changing accidents. Also, the visual distraction brought about by texting makes you less vigilant of road hazards, making youyou’re your occupants more prone to crashes.

Texting is a manual distraction

When driving, it is important that both your hands are on the wheel to ensure complete control. However, because texting requires you to take one of your hands off the wheel, you are reducing your control of the car, making you more prone to road-related accidents. Texting while driving can be especially dangerous for those whose car is in manual transmission, as it can cause you to lose control of both the wheel and the gear.

Texting is a cognitive distraction

Reading SMS or responding to one can make you think of something else other than driving. Unfortunately, a driver whose focus is not on driving could endanger his own life, the lives of his occupants, and the lives of anyone sharing the road with him.

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Avoiding motorcycle crashes

Feb 13

Every year, thousands of people are being injured due to motorcycle-related crashes. According to the website of Green Bay personal injury lawyers at Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.®, incidents involving motorcycles could be a result of almost anything: poor road condition, DUI, reckless and distracted driving, defective motorcycle components, among many others.

In most cases, drivers could get involved in a motorcycle-related incident if he is still developing awareness of the risks associated with these two-wheeled vehicles. So, it is important for motorcycle drivers to recognize risks that could trigger injurious, sometimes deadly, motorcycle crashes:

A vehicle switches lane into you

When on the road, some car drivers are ‘programmed’ to watch out for and react to cars, but not to motorcycles, possibly because motorcycles are smaller and are harder to notice. There are instances when a car veers towards your lane without you being noticed. To avoid rear hitting the car in front of you, always maintain safe distance. That way, you are allowing yourself enough time to react when such scenarios happen.

A vehicle turn left towards you in an intersection

Again, because motorcycles are more difficult to notice, drivers turning left in an intersection may fail to see you or may misjudge your distance and speed. When entering into an intersection, remember to slow down by covering your brakes slowly. You should also be aware of any signs that could indicate that a car is turning in front of you. Signal lights are the best way to determine what direction the car will take in its turn. Also, a gap between the car and the center gutter might indicate that it is preparing for a left turn.

Road obstruction in a blind corner

Some motorcycle-related accidents are triggered by road obstructions ahead of a blind corner. Because of too much speed, it can be too late for motorcycle drivers not to hit the obstruction after rounding a corner. To avoid this situation, always enter a curve slowly, so as to give yourself enough time to react to road obstructions.

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Understanding the differences between invitees, licensees, and trespassers

Feb 10

Premises owners have the responsibility to ensure that visitors and occupants in his establishment are safe from any injurious accidents arising from any hazard. If a plaintiff successfully proved that the injuries he sustained were a result of the property owner’s negligence, the owner could be liable for the damages the victim incurred. This legal doctrine is called premises liability, and this set of rules may vary from state to state.

But if you will ask a Des Moines personal injury lawyer about the duty of care a property owner has on the victim, he would say that it varies depending on the status of the injured occupier. In premises liability, there are three types of occupiers: invitees, licensees, and trespassers:


Invitees are occupiers that have been invited by the property owner for legal purposes. The invitation can either be expressed or implied, and is usually for the benefit of the property owner. Store customers are typically categorized as invitees. Contractors who the property owner contacted to do some repair works are also regarded as invitees. Property owners have the highest duty of care for invitees. It means that property owners have the responsibility to eliminate hazards that could endanger invitees.


Licensees are occupiers who have no obligations whatsoever for the property owner, but are explicitly or implicitly welcomed by the owner to enter the premises. A neighbour who frequents a property owner’s home can be classified as a licensee. Unlike invitees, licensees enjoy less duty of care from property owners, although owners are expected to warn licensees about the dangers in his premises to avoid injurious accidents.


Trespassers are those who are not lawfully allowed to enter someone else’s premises. Although the law typically does not protect trespassers from inherent dangers, property owners are not allowed to create traps that would intentionally hurt them. However, circumstances could be completely different if the trespasser is a child. Because young children oftentimes don’t have an idea what could hurt them, an owner could be liable for failing to secure attractive nuisances that have put the child in danger.

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Why do brakes fail?

Feb 09

Every year, numerous car-related incidents have occurred due to brake failure. Unfortunately, car accidents involving faulty brakes can be debilitating, and at times, fatal. West Palm Beach car accident attorneys would probably point out how some instances of brake failure are a result of faulty brake components that have been manufactured below quality standards. In most cases, however, brake failure is a result of poor car maintenance. Here, we’ll get to learn three of the most common causes of brake failure:

Brake oil leak
Brake oil serves as the ‘cable’ which connects your brake pedal to your pistons. When you slam your brakes, brake oil applies pressure to your brake pistons and callipers to initiate the whole process of braking. However, when brake oil leaks into your brake components, it may interfere with friction, causing your brakes to fail. Before hitting the road, check if your brake components are leaking oil. If so, contact your mechanic for a brake repair.

Inadequate brake oil
A brake pedal that’s too soft could mean that the level of your brake oil is too low. Inspect brake oil level before leaving your driveway. Also, brake oil should be replaced every four years or 48,000 miles whichever comes first.

Worn out brake pads
Brake pads are important brake components that initiate friction. If you hear a squeal every time you hit your brakes, chances are your brake pads are so thin that the friction is now being initiated at your brake’s rotor. Brake pads should be regularly replaced, usually every year, to prevent wear out.

Hard spots in brake rotors and drums
When your brakes overheat, your brake drums or rotors may develop hard spots (or hot spots) in which friction is lesser. Decreased friction could mean less braking power, increasing your risk of car-related incidents.

Vigilance is always the key in preventing brake-related accidents. By properly maintaining your brakes and inspecting them before you hit the road, you are significantly reducing your risk of getting into a road crash.

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