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In order to win a legal case based on negligence, such as a personal injury or wrongful death caused by a motor vehicle accident, slip and fall, defective product, or medical malpractice, the injured plaintiff is required to prove every element of the case by a preponderance of the evidence to the satisfaction of the jury. In addition to proving the existence of a duty and the breach of that duty, you must also prove that the breach caused some legal injury. Every element of the tort of negligence presents its own unique challenges, and the element of injury, or damages, is no different.
If you suffered a personal injury at the hands of another, you have likely incurred significant expenses. These costs are known as economic damages. They include medical expenses for emergency treatment, hospitalization, acute or intensive care, outpatient care, rehabilitation and more. If your injury will require additional medical care or health-related expenses into the future, these expenses can be factored into the amount of economic injury you have suffered as well.
Lost wages are another type of economic injury. If you had to be hospitalized for you injury, you likely missed several days of work. Depending upon the policies in place at your employment, you may have not been paid for these absences. In addition, you may have to miss additional days for treatment, physical therapy, etc. If the injury requires you to take a different job from the one you had before the accident, or if you are disabled or prevented from working entirely, this diminished earning capacity is yet another type of economic injury that you should be entitled to receive compensation for.
Economic damages in the case of wrongful death include cost such as funeral expenses and the loss of future earnings and benefits the deceased would have provided to the family.
A motor vehicle accident, construction accident, or other type of injury also causes other types of harm. In most cases, you should be entitled to compensation for the pain and suffering you endured, or for your emotional distress or mental anguish. Compensable damages can include both present and future pain and suffering, which can be significant if you endure a catastrophic injury such as a burn injury or spinal cord injury. In certain cases, you may be entitled to punitive damages as well. Punitive or exemplary damages are awarded to punish the defendant for particularly egregious behavior or to serve as an example to others about the type of tortious conduct which is not tolerated in the state of New York.
If you or a loved one has been injured due to the negligence or wrongful conduct of another, contact Leandros A. Vrionedes, P.C. in New York City for a free consultation.