A car accident, botched surgery, dog bite or even a slip and fall can cause severe and life-altering injuries. The harm to your life and family is potentially devastating, and the cause was negligence. While your life is different, you can seek restitution. You can seek damages for a variety of reasons to help ease the financial strain and emotional turmoil. Personal injury claims allow for victims to seek both compensatory and punitive damages.

Medical Expenses

Medical expenses are often the most sought after compensatory damage, especially when an incident results in a severe injury requiring prolonged medical care. Plaintiffs should provide a complete and accurate picture of their condition by providing their attorney with accurate billing, x-rays, lab results, etc.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering or general damages refer to the physical pain and mental anguish caused by the experience of trauma. While there is no precise measurement or table of how much a plaintiff can expect from such a claim, many consider this damage type the most valuable claim for victims.


Some accidents result in permanent disfigurement, entitling plaintiffs to some compensation. The damages awarded in these instances are likely for emotional distress and any necessary cosmetic surgery. While financial awards may not return the victim to their former self, the hope is that money will help them cope with their new reality.

Loss of Earnings

While some accidents result in significant recovery time and a loss of earnings, victims can seek compensation through mediation and lawsuits. However, the temporary loss of earnings is not the only thing covered by this damage type. Plaintiffs can also sue for future loss of earning because of necessary career changes.

Loss of Consortium

While most personal injury claims are just that, personal. Loss of consortium focuses on the relationships of the plaintiff. Has the injury resulted in the loss of affection, help, society, conjugal relations or other impairments?

Punitive Damages

Beyond compensatory damages, like those above, plaintiffs can file for punitive damages. However, punitive damages depend on the intent or criminal negligence of the defendant. If a defendant is facing criminal charges because of the incident, then you can try for punitive damages.

Wrongful Death

Last, if an accident resulted in the wrongful death of a loved one, then you can sue for damages. While not held to the same standard of proof as criminal cases, wrongful death claims still need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the defendant caused the decedent’s death.

There are a variety of damages, both compensatory and punitive, a plaintiff can pursue through litigation. However, before suing, it is wise to consult with a local personal injury attorney to discuss the strength of your claim.