Those involved in a pedestrian accident need to know what their options for compensation are. There are laws in place to allow those who were the victim of the negligence of others to become whole again. It is possible to receive compensation for essentially every aspect that was damaged, but it is important to understand the specific ways you can be compensated. A personal injury lawyer can provide you with advice specific to your unique case. Generally, there are three types of damages that defendants can be legally required to provide compensation for:
- Special compensatory damages
- General compensatory damages
- Punitive damages
Special Compensatory Damages
This type of damage includes aspects that have an exact monetary value. As the name suggests, compensatory damages compensate the victim for his or her losses. Types of special compensatory damages can include, but are not limited to:
- Medical expenses
- Lost earnings
- Loss of future earnings
- Additional household expenses
- Cost of altered plans
In the event the actions of the defendant resulted in a wrongful death, the plaintiff can also receive compensation for:
- Funeral planning costs
- Loss of financial contribution
As you can tell from this list of compensation types, special compensatory damages all provide the exact amount of money that was lost. If you had to pay a $500 medical bill, the special compensatory damage for it would be exactly $500. Special compensatory damages are a part of nearly every personal injury case.
General Compensatory Damages
Just like special compensatory damages, this category also compensates the victim for their losses. The difference is that general compensatory damages assign a monetary value to losses which have none. For example, this can include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Emotional suffering
For example, there is no exact monetary value of pain of suffering, but the court can rule that the specific suffering you experienced is worth $250. General compensatory damages are common, but far from a part of every case.
Unlike the two types of compensatory damages, punitive damages do not compensate the victim, but instead punish the defendant. This still takes the form of monetary payment, but it does not correspond with the losses of the victim. Rather, the court will make a decision of how much the defendant needs to be punished. This is rare for personal injury cases, because it is only a part of cases where the defendant intentionally acted maliciously, and the injury was not a result of an accident. Speaking with a lawyer is a good idea before going to court.