If you are looking to file a lawsuit for some injury that you or a loved one sustained, then you have quite a complicated road ahead of you. There are many different kinds of lawsuits and many different kinds of damages that you could pursue. To help straighten you out, here is an explanation of some of them:
Common Personal Injury Lawsuit Categories
Car Accidents – If you get into a car crash, then you probably want to get the cost of repairs covered, at the very least. Whether or not you can actually file a lawsuit for those damages is another matter entirely. Some states will allow you to file, while others will force you to go through your insurance to get all of your compensation.
Medical Malpractice – Filing a lawsuit against a healthcare provider for their mishandling of your health is possible, but can also be quite difficult. Many states have strict caps on how much compensation you can pursue as far as non-economic damages (like pain and suffering) go.
Dog Bites – Filing a lawsuit after being bitten by a dog can be tricky too. Some states believe that a dog's owner should not be liable for the first incident of a bite, while others argue that the owner is always responsible. Check to see how your state feels and who they will support in your specific case. If you believe that the dog's owner could have foreseen the bite, then you could potentially win a lawsuit against them.
Types of Damages
Economic – First of all, you have your basic economic or compensatory damages. This category covers everything that has a clear dollar amount associated with it. For example, your medical bills, your car repair bills, and the wages that you lost at your job because of your injury are all economic damages. These damages are almost never limited by law.
Non-Economic – This category is a little fuzzier, since it relates to damages that don't really have a specific dollar amount. While you might have a right to sue for pain and suffering, how many dollars is that actually worth? Some states limit these damages by law, while others have ruled that such limits are unconstitutional.
Punitive – Finally, you have punitive damages, which stand on a category all on their own for a couple of reasons. First, punitive damages are not meant to reward you, but to punish the party that injured you. This is meant to act as a deterrent against similarly negligent behavior in the future. Punitive damages are also often regulated and are incredibly difficult to even put into your lawsuit, since they require that you prove gross negligence on the part of the defending party.
For more information, contact an attorney like Cok Kinzler PLLP.