Personal Injury: What Are the Different Kinds of Damages?

bandage on arm

When you’re planning to file a personal injury lawsuit over any kind of accident, it’s always best to first determine how much your case will be worth. To resolve this, your lawyer will calculate how much it is based on “damages.” That means your legal representative will determine your physical, emotional, and of course, monetary losses that were directly and indirectly caused by your accident.

In a personal injury case, these damages are paid to the plaintiff by the person or legal entity (i.e., corporation or company) that’s been found to be responsible for the accident. Different types of injuries will require different lawyers in different states: a brain injury lawyer will be presenting a different kind of case to, say, an emotional damages lawyer. In most cases, personal injury lawsuits are usually settled out of court. It is done through the machinations of both the legal teams and the insurance companies of both the plaintiff and the defendant.

Different injuries will cause different kinds of “damages,” and it is the latter that courts will look at, should your case have to be settled by a judge or jury.

Personal Injury Cases: Compensation for Different Damages

In most cases, damages are compensatory. It’s an amount of money that’s meant to compensate the injured for losses accrued because of the accident or injuries that they received in an accident. While some injuries might result in irreplaceable losses, compensation is still made to plaintiffs to make up for the monetary damages they’ve gone through because of the accident or financial losses they will face because of their injuries.

That is why it’s essential to have a lawyer whose specialty is personal injury cases. This type of situation requires putting a dollar figure on the consequences of an accident to a person, both monetary and emotional. While it’s relatively easier to put a value on a loss of property or limb, it’s harder to put an amount on things like emotional turmoil, pain, suffering, and depression. Here are some types of compensation for different kinds of damages:

Emotional Distress

stressed man

Emotional distress is a type of damage that’s paid to plaintiffs who suffer some form of psychological impact because of an injury. These emotional damages can range from post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, chronic anxiety and fear, and depression. In some states, however, emotional distress is usually awarded as part of the “pain and suffering” damages (more on this later).


A common type of damage paid to personal injury plaintiffs, income damage is a type of compensation meant to make up for a plaintiff’s loss of salary and wages brought about by their inability to work. It covers not just the income you’ve lost but also the money you’ll be losing while you recover from your injury.

Loss of Consortium

A type of damage that’s paid to a plaintiff if their accident results in injuries that have negatively impacted their relationship with their spouse. It can range from anything to loss of companionship or an inability to maintain a sexual relationship. In some cases, this damage is not paid to the plaintiff, but rather, it is paid directly to the spouse.

When you have this knowledge in mind, you can be aware of what damages should be compensated when you either file for a personal injury case or encounter it. You can know what steps to take to receive just compensation.

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