The ultimate goal of personal injury lawsuits is to hold people responsible for their carelessness when it injures someone else. A key part of holding people responsible is ensuring that they compensate the injured party for harm that they suffered. In legal circles, that compensation is referred to as damages, and calculating damages is one of the most important pieces of a trial.
The ultimate goal of calculating damages is to completely compensate the victim for all of the harm that they suffered. In an ideal world, the victim would be totally indifferent to the fact that they were injured at all. Courts often describe this as making “a person with injuries as whole.” Of course, that sort of perfect compensation cannot be found in reality, but nevertheless, the law may hold the defendant responsible for a wide array of different damages in light of that ultimate goal.
The most straightforward harms that the law allows people to recover for are the physical harms that they suffer as a result of the accident. One of the easiest examples of these sorts of harms are medical bills. A plaintiff’s medical bills are a direct result of a defendant’s actions, and the court can force the defendant to cover those bills. This can include bills for the immediate treatment, such as an emergency room doctor setting a broken leg, but it can also include more ongoing treatments, such as the physical therapy necessary to rehabilitate that broken leg.
However, mere compensation for medical bills and rehabilitation would not fully compensate the plaintiff for their injuries. Being physically injured in a car accident can involve a great deal of trauma, inconvenience, and suffering. The law allows accident victims to recover monetary compensation in an effort to overcome that pain and suffering.
The law also allows people to recover for purely economic harms. One of the most obvious of these harms in the context of a car accident can be the cost of damage to the victim’s car. Yet the law goes considerably further than that. For instance, if a person involved in an accident misses work, then the defendant can be required to compensate them for the wages that they would have earned but for the accident. That compensation also extends into the future. If a person’s injuries are severe enough that they cannot return to work or to the same job then the defendant may owe them for the lost earnings that they would have made in the future.
The law surrounding calculating damages in personal injury cases is complex, but it can provide for expensive recovery. If you get injuries in an accident, contact a Phoenix personal injury lawyer today to learn more about how to recover compensation. The attorneys at the Thompson Law Firm, LLC are prepared to help you today.