You’ve probably seen or heard advertisements over the years suggesting you consider filing a personal injury lawsuit. It could stem from a faulty product, a car crash, a crime, a high-profile incident – really anything that caused you to suffer an injury.

What’s the point of a personal injury lawsuit? If you win the case, a judge or jury awards you financial compensation – money, referred to in legal terms as “damages” – based on the injuries you suffered. Here’s a brief overview of the types of harm for which you might receive compensation.

Economic compensatory damages

The first big category is economic compensatory damages. This covers tangible, quantifiable costs you incurred as a result of the injury. For example, this can include:

  • Your past, current and future projected medical costs
  • Lost wages or earnings because you had to take time off work
  • Damage to your property
  • The future earning potential you no longer have
  • The cost of household tasks you can no longer do on your own

Non-economic compensatory damages

Then there are non-economic compensatory damages. This is similar to the types of compensation listed above, but instead covers intangible repercussions – things that don’t come with a direct cost. This can include compensation for:

  • Pain
  • Suffering
  • An inability to enjoy day-to-day pleasures
  • Loss of consortium – meaning an effect on your relationship with your spouse
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are a separate category. A judge or jury might award punitive damages if the perpetrator’s actions were so objectionable that they believe that individual needs to be punished further. This can result in an additional payment to the victim. Punitive damages are not common in personal injury cases, but are possible under certain circumstances.

What else you should know

This is a brief, simplified overview of the types of compensation potentially available in a personal injury lawsuit. Which ones might apply to you is entirely dependent on your specific situation.

If you were injured as a result of another individual’s actions, and wondering about the possibility of filing a personal injury lawsuit, contact a personal injury attorney. They can go over your case and walk you through the potential options.