Generally speaking, the idea behind filing a Long Island Personal Injury Lawyer is to pursue an award in civil court – usually monetary – for accident-related injuries that result from negligence. Such awards in personal injury cases are known as “damages.”
There are two main types of damages that can be awarded to a plaintiff who wins a personal injury lawsuit: compensatory and punitive damages. We have outlined the nature of these damages and their key differences below. Keep in mind that this blog cannot serve as legal advice for your specific situation, but it can help you understand general concepts in personal injury cases.
What Is Meant By “Compensatory Damages”?
The majority of damages awarded in personal injury lawsuits are compensatory in nature. These damages account for various types of accident-related losses, including economic and non-economic ones.
For example, if you were injured in a car accident, you may receive awards for property damage, medical bills, lost wages, and other losses that come with an exact dollar amount.
Additionally, you could also receive compensation for non-economic losses, such as loss of quality of life and pain and suffering.
Keep in mind that compensatory damages can cover losses that have already occurred as well as future losses. If your accident results in injuries that will require ongoing medical treatment for years to come, your compensatory damages should also account for this.
What Is Meant By “Punitive Damages”?
A plaintiff in a personal injury case may receive punitive damages if the court determines the defendant’s behavior was egregious. If the defendant faces criminal charges, punitive damages may apply.
While compensatory damages provide funds for specific losses that resulted from an injury, punitive damages punish a defendant for especially malicious, wanton, and morally reprehensible behavior. The court uses punitive damages to deter such behavior in the future.
New York’s Laws on Punitive Damages
Mere negligence does not result in punitive damages in personal injury cases. It will have to be proven that the defendant’s actions went beyond carelessness and were of a malicious nature. Nonetheless, New York differs from many states in that it does not cap the amount of punitive damages you may receive.
How a Lawyer From Our Firm Can Help You with An Injury Case
As you can imagine, calculating compensatory and punitive damages can be an incredibly complex process.
A lawyer from our firm can calculate your damages to prevent you from accepting a settlement that would not fairly compensate you.
Our Attorneys Can Talk to Your Doctors
Nothing is more important than your health, and seeing a doctor after your accident can also bolster your case for compensation. They can document your injuries and help connect them to your accident.
Our lawyers can consult your doctors, as well as other medical experts, to assess your losses. They can also determine your future losses if your injuries require ongoing care.
You would not want to accept a settlement that would only leave you paying more for medical care down the road.
Our Attorneys Can Assess Your Wage Statements
When it comes to calculating lost wages, our lawyers can take a look at your wage statements to pursue fair compensation. If your injuries prevent you from returning to work or earning your pre-injury income, we can also calculate your reduced earning capacity.
Our Attorneys Can Calculate Your Non-Economic Losses
Assigning a dollar value to your non-economic losses can be difficult, but our legal team can help. We may use a couple of methods to calculate your pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.
For example, we may have you keep a journal detailing how your injuries affect your day-to-day routine.
You Have a Deadline for Filing a Lawsuit in New York
In New York, you must meet a deadline if you want to file a lawsuit against a negligent party. According to CVP § 214, you generally have three years from the date of the accident to file a personal injury lawsuit. Under EPT § 5-4.1, the deadline for filing a wrongful death lawsuit shortens to two years, generally.
If you fail to meet these deadlines, the court can dismiss your case entirely. You may miss out on your last chance to hold a negligent party accountable for your losses. Keep in mind that these deadlines do not pause while negotiating a settlement with insurers, either.
Give your case the time it deserves by starting as soon as possible after an accident.
Work the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP After a Personal Injury Cccident
If you suffered injuries due to negligence, do not hesitate to contact the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP right away. We can offer you a free consultation so you can learn about your potential for receiving compensatory and punitive damages. As a trained EMT, Richard Jaffe understands all the ways injury victims can suffer – and he will fight to seek what you deserve.
Call us at (516) 358-6900 to get started.
The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.
For a free legal consultation, call 516-358-6900The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice; instead, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information and may not be applicable in your jurisdiction.