Jump to Navigation

Injury Newsletter

Damages in a Personal Injury Case

When determining damages in a personal injury case, the court will consider various factors. Some factors include the severity of the injury, the permanence of the injury, the medical expenses incurred, the loss of earnings or future earnings and the person bringing the claim. There may be different damages available depending on the facts of the case, whether the injured party is alive or deceased and/or the jurisdiction in which the claim is filed. It is important to seek legal advice before initiating a personal injury lawsuit.

Persons Who May Bring a Personal Injury Claim

The most common plaintiff in a personal injury case is the individual who was injured. However, the injured party is not the only person who may bring a personal injury claim. Other persons may bring a claim on behalf of the injured party. This may occur when the victim is an unborn child, a minor or an incompetent individual. Family members, spouses or domestic partners may also bring their own claims arising from the injury of a loved one. Some of these claims may include loss of companionship/loss of consortium, loss of earnings, loss of household services or negligent infliction of emotional distress. The latter may have a better chance of success if the family member/spouse/partner witnessed the event that injured the victim.

If the injured party dies as a result of his or her injuries, the decedent’s loved ones may have a claim for wrongful death. In addition, if the victim dies at some point during litigation, his or her estate may continue the case on behalf of the deceased victim; this type of action is often called a survivor action. It is important to note that once the injured party has passed, the survivor action may not recover all of the damages (such as damages for pain and suffering) that may have been awarded if the injured party were still living.

Types of Damages

There are various types of damages available in a personal injury case. The amount and type of damages actually awarded depend on the facts of the case. Generally, damages are compensatory or punitive. Compensatory damages may include compensation for medical expenses. The claimant (injured party, family member/spouse/partner, estate) may show medical expenses by giving the court medical bills, his or her doctor’s testimony, medical reports or any other medical information that will prove the amount of medical costs the victim incurred. Other types of compensatory damages include the injured person’s loss of income, proven by documentation of gross income or past profits earned by the injured party, loss of future earnings, pain and suffering, intentional infliction of emotional distress, shortened life expectancy, loss of enjoyment of life and other damages suffered by the victim.

Punitive damages are additional damages provided by statute that are intended to punish the defendant for wrongdoing. They are damages often awarded in addition to compensatory damages. The judge or jury may choose not to award punitive damages based on the facts of the case. Punitive damages may also not be available in all situations, or in all jurisdictions.

Furthermore, when the court is determining damages, if contributory negligence (action by the victim was a partial cause/or contributed to his or her injury) has been proven, the court will often reduce the amount of damages the victim, or victim’s family, may be awarded. The reduction will be determined by the amount of contributory negligence attributed to the injury sustained.

Preparing to Meet with Your Personal Injury Attorney

To read and print out a copy of the checklist, please follow the link below.

Preparing to Meet with your Personal Injury Attorney

You can download a free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader here.

Copyright © 1994-2011 FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business

DISCLAIMER: This site and any information contained herein are intended for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. Seek competent counsel for advice on any legal matter.

View Archives

Email: help@ellislaw.com


With respect to all case results appearing on this page, please note that:

Free Injury Answerline Please fill out & submit: ?

Click here for more details.
Please fill out & submit.

Bold labels are required.

Contact Information
How did you find our website?
Would you like a Free Case Evaluation?

The use of the Internet or this form for communication with the firm or any individual member of the firm does not establish an attorney-client relationship. Confidential or time-sensitive information should not be sent through this form.

We will respond to you within a few hours.  For a more immediate response, please call: 1-800-LAW-3-7777 or 1-800-3-ABOGADO.  Contact us 24/7.
Click to read about our FOR SETTLEMENT ONLY! Program.




Ellis Law, P.C.
1707 Central Avenue,
Albany, NY 12205
TOLL FREE: 1-800-LAW-7777
Albany Law Office Map

Routes 9 & 52
Fishkill, NY 12524
TOLL FREE: 1-800-LAW-7777

Ellis Law, P.C.
2076 South Road
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601

LOCAL: (845) 462-2700
TOLL FREE: 1-800-LAW-7777
FAX: (845) 462-4895
Poughkeepsie Law Office Map

Ellis Law, P.C.

Serving injured clients in: Albany, Bronx, New York, Dutchess, Schenectady, Sullivan, Kings, Queens, Rensselaer, Westchester, Erie, Orange, Nassau, Suffolk, Rockland, Richmond, Columbia, Saratoga, Greene, Fulton and all other NY counties including clients from Albany, Poughkeepsie, Manhattan, New York, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Buffalo, Syracuse, Monticello, Staten Island, Rochester, Smithtown, Ramapo, Queens, Oyster Bay, Islip, Huntington, North Hempstead, Greece, Cheektowaga, Yonkers, Brookhaven, Babylon, Amherst, Kingston, Newburgh and all other NY cities/towns.

Legal Disclaimers:

* This site and any links to it are intended to present information and advertise our services solely to New York residents where our in-house attorneys practice. Outside co-counsel employed on certain cases with consent of client. Nothing contained in this site should be construed as legal advice, for which you should consult an attorney. Nor does your review of this website, sending of email, contacting us, or submission of a request form constitute the formation of an attorney-client relationship between you and our firm. There are certain time limits ("Statute of Limitations") in every case beyond which your right to bring a claim in connection with your accident will be lost forever. Since no attorney/client relationship exists between you and our firm, we cannot protect your interests if the time limit for your case is about to expire, until such time as you formally sign a representation agreement with us. With repsect to all case results appearing on this site, please note that: PRIOR RESULTS DO NOT GUARANTEE A SIMILAR OUTCOME.

Privacy Policy | Legal Marketing® by FindLaw, a Thomson Reuters business.