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What To Expect In Terms of A Damage Award For A Personal Injury Claim October 17, 2019

Personal injury lawyers work to help their clients get back to the position they were in before the accident that led to the personal injury claim. Consequently, such lawyers hope to win a fair award, one that covers all of the client’s compensatory damage. There are 2 types of compensatory damage. Different factors influence the court’s decision, regarding each of the 2 types of damage: general and special.

General damages

That term refers to the non-monetary losses. Pain and suffering falls under the category of general damages. Personal injury lawyer in Red Deer knows that this type of damage affects the quality of the victim’s life.

Factors affecting the size of an award for general damages

• The age of the injured victim
• The victim’s overall health
• The degree of impairment created by the victim’s injury
• The extent of any emotional suffering
• The court also studies the decisions in previous cases, those with similar circumstances.

Special damages

These can be calculated and quantified more easily. Sometimes this award includes compensation for future costs. When that is the case, then the amount of the damage gets determined by an expert at economics. A younger victim will have a larger award for special damages, because that same victim must face the prospect of more future costs. By the same token, a younger victim will have diminished earning power for a longer amount of time. The extent to which that power decreases must be determined by an expert at economics.

The role of the other party’s insurance company in determining the size of the damage award:

That insurance company will be asking this question: Did the victim of the accident make an effort to minimize its effects? If the victim failed to mitigate those effects, then the expected award might get reduced in size.

For instance, in a case involving a motor vehicle accident, the defendant’s legal team would check to see if the plaintiff had been wearing a seat belt at the time of the collision. The absence of a seat belt would work to increase the amount of damage caused by the impact. If evidence indicated that the plaintiff’s own actions increased the severity of the accident-caused injury, then the plaintiff would get a smaller award.

Similarly, if someone slipped and fell in a retail store, the stores’ legal team would want to find out what type of footwear that customer had been wearing. If the customer had on a sturdy pair of shoes, he or she could expect to get a good-sized award. However, if the same customer had been wearing a flimsy pair of sandals, that fact would work against the victim/claimant. Indeed, that same victim would probably get an award that was smaller than expected.