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Three Types of Personal Injury Damages

Posted on September 16, 2023 in

When you file a personal injury lawsuit, you will likely be notified by your personal injury lawyer of the three different types of personal injury damages. These three types of personal injury damages are referred to as general damages, special damages, and punitive damages. It is important to know and understand each of these damages to get an idea of the losses you may be able to recover from the individual who caused your accident and injuries.

General Damages

General damages are described as non-economic damages. That said, it can be difficult to determine how much compensation you will receive for these damages. However, it is not impossible with the help of a professional attorney who will work with accountants and other professionals to develop a compensation amount for your non-economic damages. A few examples of general or non-economic damages include:

  • Mental and emotional trauma or distress
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Loss of enjoyment of activities
  • Loss of companionship
  • Pain and suffering

Special Damages

Special damages are what you would consider to be economic damages. This means that these damages are easy to calculate and determine how much compensation you may receive. Your attorney will consult with accountants, medical providers, physical therapists, counselors, and other professionals to understand the money you may seek for your special damages. Here are some examples of special or economic damages:

  • Medical bills
  • Lost income
  • Physical therapy costs
  • Occupational therapy fees
  • Counseling expenses
  • Caregiving services
  • Home modifications
  • Property damage

Punitive Damages

The last type of damages you need to know about is punitive damages. Cornell Law School explains that these damages are only awarded “in certain circumstances,” which is usually to punish the defendant. Therefore, if the individual was acting careless or reckless and caused you harm, there is a good chance that punitive damages could be awarded. However, you should remember that punitive damages are less frequently given in personal injury cases than in general or special ones.

If you are awarded punitive damages, the court’s goal is not to compensate you further for your injuries and losses but to punish the individual who caused your accident. They want to ensure they do not repeat the same action or behavior.

How Long Do I Have to Seek Compensation for Damages in Tennessee?

According to Tennessee Code 28-3-104, you have one year from your accident to file a personal injury claim and seek compensation for your damages. Even though 12 months may seem like a long time, it can quickly pass you by while you are going through a tough and challenging recovery. Therefore, the sooner you can start speaking with a personal injury attorney about your case, the sooner you may recover damages from the accident.

Talk to a Personal Injury Attorney Today

The Law Offices of Christopher Eads takes these personal injury cases seriously. He handles car accidents, truck accidents, motorcycle accidents, slip and fall accidents, workplace accidents, and more. If you were recently injured due to another party’s negligence, please contact our firm today. We will schedule your free case evaluation and review your legal rights and options at your earliest convenience.