If you are involved in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation from the person who caused your injuries. In a personal injury case, you are entitled to economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are out-of-pocket expenses or financial losses that are a direct result of the accident that caused your injuries. Non-economic damages include things like pain and suffering and diminished quality of life.
Different types of personal injury claims
Intentional tort – An intentional tort is an act to willfully and purposely cause injury to a victim. Willful negligence and ignorance may also be classified as an intentional tort.
Negligence tort – Negligence torts are the most common torts when it comes to personal injury. The theory of negligence is pretty straightforward, the at-fault party (the person who caused the injury), owes a duty of care and that duty is breached when their actions result in your injury. In a negligence tort, you’re not required to prove willful intent, as you don’t have to meet the same requirements as an intentional tort. A common example of a negligent tort is a car accident. Most car accidents are accidents and they are not intentional. Although the person at fault for the accident didn’t intend to cause the accident nevertheless, their negligence resulted in your injury, therefore, they owe you compensation.
Strict liability tort – In a strict liability case, the defendant is responsible for your damages even if they didn’t willfully or negligently intend to cause you harm. In a strict liability case, your attorney must demonstrate that the person who caused your injuries is substantially responsible. Some of the most common strict liability cases usually involve product liability. An example of product liability would be if you bought a coffee maker that malfunctioned and burned you. Due to the defect in the product, you may be eligible to bring forward a product liability claim.
What Damages/Compensation Am I Entitled to?
Special Damages (Economic Damages)
Special damages (also called economic damages) are the out-of-pocket expenses and financial losses, suffered by an accident victim as a direct result of their injury. Economic damages are easier to identify and are verifiable, as people usually have receipts or there’s a paper trail. Below are common examples of economic damages:
- Current, past and future medical bills
- Lost Wages
- Loss of future earning capacity and job opportunities
- Property damage/ loss of property
- Cost for the repairs of the damaged property
General Damages (Non-Economic)
Non-economic damages are considered subjective and they are not easily measured. In California, there are no standard damage values for pain and suffering. Due to their subjective nature, non-economic damages such as emotional or psychological trauma and pain and suffering are difficult to quantify. Due to their subjective nature, it’s important to hire an experienced Fresno personal injury attorney who can accurately assess and quantify non-economic damages. Below are some common examples of non-economic damages:
- Current, past and future pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- General quality of life
- Loss of companionship/consortium
In personal injury cases, punitive damages are usually only available in intentional tort cases and sometimes strict liability cases. However, that is not always the case. If you feel that you may be entitled to punitive damages, contact a Fresno personal injury attorney to discuss what damages you are entitled to.
Free Damages Evaluation
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident as a result of someone else’s negligence, it is important that you speak with a Fresno personal injury attorney. Our law firm offers free consultations. After your consultation, you will know what type of claims and damages you are eligible to pursue. Call today to learn the options available to you.