It is important to understand the types of damages that can be recovered through personal injury claims.
Economic damages are tangible costs that you have suffered due to an injury caused by another party’s negligence. They most commonly include the following:
Medical expenses are one of the most common and important forms of damages in personal injury cases. These expenses can include:
- Emergency room visits
- Hospital stays
- Doctor appointments
- Prescription medications
- Physical and occupational therapy
- Assistive medical equipment
- In some cases you may even be able to seek compensation for costs associated with transportation such as taxis or Uber rides taken between appointments
By recovering medical expenses, you can help alleviate the financial strain caused by these necessary treatments and focus on your recovery.
If your personal property was damaged in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for those losses. This could include damage to your vehicle, clothing, or any other personal belongings that were affected.
Lost Wages and Lost Earning Capacity
If your injuries have forced you to miss work or reduced your ability to earn a living, lost wages and lost earning capacity damages can compensate for that loss. Lost wages cover the income you have lost and will lose due to missing work.
This may encompass damages for missed vacation days, bonuses, commissions, and any other forms of payment that you would have earned if you were able to work.
Lost earning capacity addresses potential future income loss due to lingering injuries or permanent disability. For example, if you have to take a lower paying job because of your injuries, you should be able to recover the difference in your new salary.
Non-economic damages include compensation for injuries that don’t have an objective monetary value attached to them. They most commonly include the following:
Pain and Suffering
Aside from the tangible costs of an injury, you may also be eligible to recover damages for pain and suffering. This compensation is intended to cover the physical pain, discomfort, and general negative effects that your injuries have caused in your daily life.
Injuries don’t just cause physical pain; they can also lead to severe emotional distress. Emotional trauma such as anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can result from a personal injury accident.
In many personal injury cases, victims experience a significant amount of inconvenience—a disruption to their daily lives that is caused by the injury. Inconvenience damages can cover various hardships, such as:
- Lost time from work due to medical appointments, therapy or rehabilitation
- Difficulty in completing day-to-day tasks like housekeeping, childcare, and personal care
- Inability to participate in hobbies or social activities, causing a loss of enjoyment
Another type of damages that can be recovered after a personal injury is compensation for physical impairment. Physical impairment can manifest in several ways, including:
- Reduced range of motion or mobility
- Chronic pain, which may impact your ability to work or engage in daily activities
- Functional limitations, like difficulty walking or using your hands
Disfigurement can involve permanent visible changes to your appearance, such as:
- Scars from burns, lacerations, or surgery
- Loss of limbs or significant alterations in body structure
- Discoloration or skin grafts that change your appearance
Disfigurement can lead to emotional distress, loss of self-esteem, and even discrimination
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
A serious injury can rob you of simple pleasures and inhibit your ability to enjoy your life as you once did. Loss of enjoyment of life damages seek to compensate for this reduction in life satisfaction.
Punitive damages are meant to punish wrongdoers who engage in egregiously negligent actions. While not always awarded, when they are, they can significantly increase your total compensation.
In most circumstances, there is no cap on the amount of economic and non-economic damages that can be recovered in Nevada, but there are a couple of exceptions.
Non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases are capped at $350,000.
There is also a cap on punitive damages. According to Nevada law:
- Punitive damages cap at $300,000 when your compensatory damages are less than $100,000.
- For compensatory damages of $100,000 or more, punitive damages are limited to three times your compensatory damages.
How a Lawyer Can Help You Get The Compensation You Deserve
If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you could be entitled to significant monetary damages. Here’s how a lawyer can help you get the compensation you’re entitled to:
1. Thoroughly Investigating Your Case
A personal injury attorney will conduct a thorough investigation of your case to identify all liable parties and gather evidence to prove their negligence.
They can also work with experts such as accident reconstructionists and medical professionals to build a solid and comprehensive case. This detailed investigation can make a significant difference in establishing liability and recovering maximum damages.
2. Accurately Assessing the Value of Your Claim
A key factor in recovering maximum damages is determining the true value of your claim. A knowledgeable lawyer will analyze your medical records, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any future expenses relating to your injury.
3. Negotiating With Insurance Companies
Insurance companies are notorious for offering low settlement offers to claimants who are unaware of the true value of their claim. An experienced lawyer understands the tactics used by insurance companies and knows how to negotiate assertively on your behalf.
4. Representing You in Court
If a fair settlement cannot be reached through negotiation, your lawyer can take your case to court. They are well-versed in personal injury litigation and can expertly present your case to the jury, communicating your pain and suffering and the negligence of the at-fault party.