What damages are available in a personal injury case?

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Louisiana law divides the types of damages you can seek in a personal injury case into two broad categories: general damages and special damages. Their differences are outlined below:

General damages

Injuries and damages for which exact dollar amounts cannot be calculated, including

  • Pain and suffering, in the past, present, and future
  • Mental anguish
  • Disability
  • Loss of enjoyment in life
  • Loss of consortium, or the relationships you had with loved ones

Special damages

For specific losses and costs incurred by your injury, you can be awarded special damages. These include

  • Accident-related medical expenses, both past and future
  • Lost wages, both past and future
  • Funeral or burial expenses (for a wrongful death claim)
  • Vehicle or property damage

In some cases, the at-fault party is so egregious that the victim can be awarded punitive damages, which are damages beyond the above described that aim to defer the defendant from the behavior that led to the accident. However, punitive damages can be exceedingly difficult to prove, and they aren’t often rewarded.