A North Carolina personal injury attorney’s job is to ensure their client is made whole again following an injury. We all know that’s not always possible; sometimes an accident involves the loss of a life or a life-changing injury. Money will never fully compensate for those losses. But, the law does provide a means for obtaining compensation: the award of damages.
There are different types of damages that may be available depending on the facts in each personal injury case. Presenting claims for an award of damages is more of an art than a science and understanding the audience is critical. The first audience is the insurance company for the at-fault party. As former insurance defense attorneys, we know how to paint a picture intended to get the insurance adjuster to appreciate the significance of the injuries at issue in a way that the insurance company’s computer can’t. Unfortunately, sometimes even the best presentation of damages falls on deaf ears and the next audience is the judge and jury. Because our attorneys have tried personal injury cases to juries in North Carolina, we’ve got you covered there too.
Types of Damages
Typical damages cases involve compensatory damages and general damages. An award based on actual damages is designed to compensate the injured party for actual out-of-pocket expenses associated with medical treatment such as ambulance, hospital, rehabilitation and other bills or losses like lost income that can be quantified. General damages are designed to compensate the injured party for inconvenience, mental anguish, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life. Of course, general damages can vary significantly depending on the personal circumstances of each case.
Appreciating the circumstances involved in a case and understanding how to present the claim in the most persuasive way to each audience is critically important. For example, making a claim to the insurance company merely seeking damages because a young woman had a shoulder injury that required surgery neglects the general damages portion of the case. To do the client’s case justice, the insurance company also needs to understand that fully compensating this young woman, who is actually a young mother with children under the age of 5, must take into account her daily struggles to care for her children because the injury has caused her significant physical limitations that impacts her and her children in a multitude of ways.
Fully exploring all potential categories of damages requires a special emphasis on understanding the personal nature of each client’s case and the impact they may face in the future. At Horton & Mendez we investigate those avenues for recovery, as well as others such as punitive damages, and intend to leave nothing on the table for our clients. Call us today if you have an injury claim so we can discuss with you what types of damages may be available in your case.