If you are injured in an accident caused by another person’s negligence, you may have the legal right to file a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party to recover compensation for the damages you suffered.
One key component of any personal injury case is calculating your damages to determine how much compensation you are owed. A reputable personal injury attorney in New Haven will be able to advise you of the damages you may be able to recover.
Below, the attorneys of D’Amico & Pettinicchi have detailed the types of compensation that are often awarded in Connecticut personal injury lawsuits. We can discuss the circumstances of your situation during a free and confidential consultation.
Compensatory damages are provided to injury victims by the court in an attempt to make the victim “whole” again after being injured by the at-fault party’s negligence.
Connecticut does not limit the amount of compensatory damages a victim can receive like many other jurisdictions choose to do.
This type of compensation is divided into two categories that provide payment for the economic and non-economic damages that a victim suffered.
Special damages are damages that are linked to some identifiable and specific loss, such as:
- Cost of incurred medical bills as a result of the accident
- Future anticipated medical expenses
- Hospital stays
- Costs for diagnostic and imaging tests
- Rehabilitation costs
- Physical therapy
- Prescription medications
- Purchase of medical equipment
- Lost wages
- Lost earning capacity
- Lost employment benefits
These damages are typically called economic damages as they are easily quantifiable and have a direct monetary value. For instance, medical treatment will have bills and receipts.
General damages compensate personal injury victims for non-economic damages. These damages are not tied to a quantifiable harm. Instead, they provide for the victim’s pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other emotional toll the accident had on them.
Connecticut judges and juries can sometimes also award punitive damages to victims. Unlike compensatory damages that seek to compensate a victim for the losses he or she suffered, punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant and deter them and others from engaging in similar behavior in the future.
These damages are not available in most cases and are reserved for situations in which the defendant’s actions are particularly reprehensible or were reckless, wanton or willful.
Punitive damages are generally subject to a cap that is equal to the attorneys’ fees and the cost to pursue litigation, which can be ineffective in punishing the defendant.
It is important that accident victims retain all important documents related to their injuries and damages to help them recover the maximum compensation they deserve. The following documents may be able to show the extent of the victim’s loss:
- Medical bills – Keep copies of all medical treatment and bills, including invoices from hospitals, emergency rooms, urgent care clinics and doctors’ visits. Keep all prescription medication bottles and ask your pharmacy for a printout of the prescription medications you have ordered.
- Lost earnings – Keep check stubs for the time near your accident and while you are recovering. Keep documentation that shows the days you missed because you were off work and the benefits you had to use to replace part of this income. Your employer may also be able to provide you with a letter that indicates that you are no longer able to perform your basic job duties because of your injury.
- Property damage – Keep records from mechanics’ shops and auto body shops to show the extent of your vehicle damage. Keep receipts and other documents that indicate the value of other property that was damaged in the accident, such as a cellphone, laptop, tablet or other items. If you have to purchase a replacement item, keep receipts for these.
- Wrongful death – If the at-fault party’s careless actions led to the loss of a loved one, keep receipts for the burial and funeral of your relative.
- Pain and suffering – Keep a pain journal in which you record the degree of the pain you are suffering. It is difficult to measure pain, so it is important that you can give the insurance adjuster or jury a clearer picture about how your injuries cause you discomfort.
Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer
Proving damages is only one part of a personal injury lawsuit. These types of cases are often complex and may deal with complicated concepts like establishing the legal duty of the at-fault party, liability and the egregiousness of certain actions. Pursuing a personal injury case requires diligence and a complex understanding of the personal injury system.
The attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi have helped injured victims recover the types of compensation discussed above for decades. We are committed to pursuing all reasonable compensation to which you are entitled. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay us if we help you secure a favorable outcome.