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What Does a Personal Injury Claim Cover?

Sep 6th, 2021

If your child is injured in an accident, the aftermath can be tough to deal with. You’re dealing with the fear and trauma of watching your child go through pain and suffering. You’re also dealing with medical expenses, recovery times, and possibly loss of wages if the accident keeps you from working. It can leave you feeling like it’s all just too much. If the accident was caused by someone else’s negligence, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against that person on behalf of your child. So, what does that personal injury claim cover?

The simple answer is that your personal injury claim should cover any losses incurred as a result of the other party’s negligence or misconduct. However, breaking down and calculating those losses can be more difficult than it seems. Let’s look more deeply into this question.

Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Lawsuit

Most personal injury claims are categorized into four types of damages:

  • Economic damages: Also called “special damages,” this term refers to the actual, measurable costs associated with your child’s injury. This can include medical bills, ongoing treatments, property damage, past and future lost wages, and any other financial losses related to the accident.
  • Non-economic damages: Also referred to as “general damages,” these are damages that cannot be expressed in dollars or cents. This includes non-monetary losses like pain and suffering endured by the victim—which is what your child is most likely feeling right now—along with emotional distress, loss of enjoyment (e.g., if your child can no longer enjoy certain activities due to their injuries), etc. Your attorney will use one of several methods to assign certain dollar amounts to these intangible losses and include these in your claim.
  • Permanent Impairment and Disfigurement: Separate from general damages, this category is exactly what it sounds like—damages for permanent mental or physical impairment or disfigurement, such as an amputation or scarring.
  • Punitive damages: These are additional monetary damages that don’t specifically address losses incurred by you or your child. They are instead assigned by the courts as a form of punishment to the party at fault. These damages are usually only awarded in cases of willful or reckless conduct.

Factors that May Reduce These Damages

A few factors may either increase or decrease the amount of damages recovered in a personal injury claim. The most common of these is a factor called “contributory negligence” or “comparative negligence”. This means the injured person contributed in some way to their own injury. For example, if your child ran out into traffic without looking both ways first, or if your child wasn’t properly restrained in their car seat, the insurance company or defense lawyer may try to use these factors to reduce the amount of damages in your personal injury claim.

You can see that there are many variables that go into what a personal injury claim will actually cover. Unfortunately, the other party’s insurance company won’t always be moved by the fact that the victim is a child. Ensure your child and you receive the best and fairest settlement possible. Hire a skilled personal injury attorney who knows how to fight for your child’s rights. Our team is standing by to help you. Call now for a free initial consultation.