Recovering Damages in Personal Injury Cases: Here’s What you Should Know

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If you have been personally injured due to the negligence of another, you may be experiencing serious financial impacts due to expenses resulting from the injury. Perhaps you are out of work and cannot afford your expenses or have ongoing medical treatment, and the medical bills are piling up. You may be wondering if you are entitled to financial compensation to cover the various losses you have suffered and/or continue to endure. 

In this situation, you may be eligible to file a claim against the at-fault party’s insurance company and successfully obtain personal injury compensation to cover your “damages”. Damages refer to the financial compensation you may be awarded as a remedy to make you whole. 

The legal concept of being made “whole” is toget you back into the same position you were before the accident occurred. In some cases people suffer permanent injuries, in these unfortunate situations the law’s only way to make them “whole” is through financial compensation.


Compensatory damages are designed to cover the economic and non-economic damages you experience from the personal injury. 

Economic damages include:

  • medical expenses and bills (including doctor and hospital visits, procedures, and treatment, including those that are ongoing and/or in the future)
  • lost wages (including lost future wages)
  • damage to property

On the other hand, non-economic damages are intangible losses you have suffered, which may be referred to as “pain and suffering,” these include the non-physical harms suffered such as a diminished quality of life due to the inability to engage in your favorite hobbies or activities. 

Such non-economic damages may include:

  • emotional distress: emotional or psychological impact or conditions because of the injury such as discomfort, inconvenience, anguish, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • Loss of consortium: losing the personal companionship, relationship, and support of a loved one who passed because of the accident. 
  • Loss of enjoyment: a change to your quality of life could result in diminished enjoyment, such as the ability to sleep or drive.

North Carolina will consider the following factors in determining the award for pain and suffering: 

  • injury severity 
  • impact on your daily life
  • impact on your mental health and well-being

In considering these factors, a paper trail of your ailments and the severity is best demonstrated by medical records, including doctor notes and reports and self-reported diary entries on the impact of the injury. An experienced personal injury attorney licensed to practice in North Carolina can best guide you on the best evidence to prove your injuries so that you can obtain the compensation you deserve. 

Also note, concerning damages—punitive damages may be awarded in limited cases where the injury was done maliciously, willfully, or was especially egregious.

Determine Damages Amount

An experienced personal injury lawyer will help you accurately calculate your damages. North Carolina has special laws regarding the calculation of medical expenses. It is critical that these are tallied correctly so that you are not stuck paying the bills.

Specifically, when it comes to non-economic damages, there are various ways to calculate your pain and suffering, making this category of damages more difficult to determine and challenging to prove. Insurance companies are notorious for nit picking at your damages and trying to claim they are not related to the incident. An experienced injury lawyer will help make sure you’re fully compensated for your damages. An experienced personal injury attorney is essential to guide you through the legal process and help you determine how North Carolina laws impact the computation of your damages.  


While assigning a precise value to your pain and suffering is challenging, various methods may be used, including a multiplier method and the per diem method. Attorneys well-versed in personal injury law can calculate your damages accurately using these common calculation methods. 

Our attorneys used to represent insurance companies and we understand how they value cases. Pain and suffering depends upon the severity of the incident, severity of injuries, type of medical treatment performed, length of treatment, length of recovery period, and a host of other factors. Each case is unique and has different factors that impact case value. Our attorneys understand how to evaluate these factors and assign monetary value to your pain and suffering.


As mentioned earlier, having a paper trail of documentation is essential to prove your pain and suffering. An experienced North Carolina personal injury attorney can help you to identify the most effective way to document your injuries, including pain and suffering, as it can be more challenging than it seems. 

Examples of documentation that could effectively demonstrate how the accident has adversely affected your daily life due to pain and suffering include photographs, personal statements such as descriptive journal entries, and medical and/or mental health records and reports. 

Contributory Negligence

Fault is determined differently according to the state, and in North Carolina, compensation is not a guarantee. North Carolina adheres to a pure contributory negligence approach for determining damages, which prevents you, the injured party, from recovering damages if it is determined that you contributed at all to the injury. 

An experienced attorney can gather and examine your evidence and other important facts to determine liability, including whether the pure comparative negligence doctrine applies in your case and how much compensation you deserve.

Seek Personal Injury Legal Advice

It is essential to seek legal help from a North Carolina-licensed attorney with experience handling personal injury cases such as yours. Such an attorney can help you navigate the legal process by helping you to understand your rights your legal options and to advocate on your behalf. An attorney can help to guide you through the legal process and navigate the complexities of determining liability and damages.

Contact a Wilmington Attorney Today!

If you have been personally injured due to the negligence of another, you may be entitled to financial compensation to cover your losses. The dedicated Horton & Mendez personal injury Attorneys have the knowledge and skills to effectively represent you in your injury case. We are prepared to help you navigate how damages are calculated and what you may be entitled to receive. Don’t delay! Contact us at (910) 490-4303 to schedule a free evaluation of your case. We are committed to ensuring you obtain the fair financial compensation you may deserve.

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