What Are Damages in a Lawsuit?

What Are Damages in a Lawsuit?

Lawsuit Damages

You’ve probably heard about the concept of suing for damages. If you become involved in a lawsuit, this term is critical to your case. Whether you are suing another individual or entity for a personal injury, malpractice, or any other reason, you’ll want to recover enough damages to pay for your medical costs. The damages can also compensate you for pain and suffering. Your attorney will advise you on what damages you can claim and on the amounts you should seek.

An Overview of Damages

In civil legal proceedings, plaintiffs will seek damages for the restoration of their condition before the incident. For example, if a person sues his or her employer for an injury on the job due to an unsafe work environment, the person will want reimbursement for medical bills. Individuals can seek damages in personal injury cases, wrongful death lawsuits, or in business lawsuits. The plaintiff may also seek damages to punish the other party if there is an accusation of willful and deliberate action.

Personal Injury Suit

This is a common type of case that civil courts handle. Examples of personal injury claims include dog bites, a slip and fall on someone’s property, getting hurt at work, or being involved in a car accident. In each situation, the plaintiff must show that the defendant was negligent or injured the person on purpose. The plaintiff can claim several different types of damages.

The most common is payment for medical bills — either repayment for bills the person already handled or compensation the plaintiff can use to make the payments. The plaintiff may also seek damages for lost wages due to an inability to work. If the injury also damaged the person’s vehicle or home, the plaintiff may also seek compensation for those items.

Wrongful Death

Plaintiffs file wrongful death suits when they feel that a family member died due to another party’s negligence or malicious behavior. Total damages in these lawsuits can be even higher than personal injury suits. In these lawsuits, surviving family members will ask for payment to cover medical care and treatment, as well as burial costs for the deceased person. The family may seek payment for the pain and suffering that the death caused. The plaintiff may even be able to collect on wages that the deceased family member would have earned had he or she lived to a normal life expectancy.

If you are considering filing a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit, make sure you understand what damages you can seek. A personal injury lawyer, like a personal injury lawyer in St. Paul, MN, can advise you on how to proceed with your case.

Thanks to Johnston & Martineau, PLLP for their insight into what damages can be claimed in a lawsuit. 

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