Google Rating
Based on 436 reviews

Defining the Various Types of Damages Awarded in Personal Injury Cases

In the event that you or someone you know is injured due to the actions of another party, you should be eligible to file a personal injury suit to recoup the damages. There are, however, more types of damages than you might think, and so claimants should always consult with an experienced personal injury attorney, so that no money is left on the table during negotiations. Here, we will define all the different types of damages that can be awarded in personal injury cases and the reasoning behind them. 

Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Litigation 

The most common type of damages in personal injury claims are known as compensatory damages. As the name suggests, they are designed to reimburse or compensate an accident victim, and they are generally separated into two sections– economic and non-economic. 


Economic damages are relatively straightforward and simple to calculate. Attorneys and claimants simply have to tally bills and receipts for expenses that were incurred as a result of the accident, such as: 

  • Medical expenses
  • Property damage 
  • Lost wages and damage to future earnings
  • Out-of-pocket costs 


Non-economic damages refer to any emotional or psychological trauma that a plaintiff has experienced as a result of the incident. These are much more vague in nature, and more difficult to effectively argue. However, they are awarded with regularity, and so they are always within the realm of possibility. Notable examples include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment
  • Scarring and disfigurement 
  • Loss of spouse/ companionship 
  • Loss of quality of life 

Attorneys will typically calculate the whole of a plaintiff’s damages using what’s known as a multiplier method– this entails taking the sum of all the economic damages and multiplying it by a number between 1.5 and 5. This multiplier is what constitutes the non-economic damages, and the number will be larger depending on the severity of the case. Cases that are simpler and less severe may not warrant any non-economic damages. 

Punitive Damages: Definition and Application

Punitive damages are by far the rarest of all types. They are meant to go beyond normal compensation and act as a punishment for especially egregious or reckless behavior. Courts will usually only award punitive damages in very specific cases where they think the defendant could actually pay them, such as a wealthy company who put out a dangerous product, or a wealthy individual who acted especially recklessly. Typically, punitive damages will only be awarded in about 5 percent of total cases. 

Contact with a Trusted Personal Injury Law Firm 

If you or someone you know is looking to recover any of the forms of damages listed above after being injured in an accident that was caused by another, the trusted personal injury attorneys from Van Law Firm can help you get the best medical treatment and the highest possible settlement. 

Don’t just take our word for it– with over 500 5-star reviews online, our satisfied clients are more than enough proof of our quality service and legal expertise. Call our office nearest you today for more information and a no-cost, no-obligation consultation and case review.