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What Goes into the Calculation of Damages in a Personal Injury Claim?


When you’ve been hurt because of someone else’s carelessness, you can feel the financial impact in many ways. You may be unable to work or face substantial unreimbursed medical bills. You may need to make structural changes in your home to accommodate your disability. It’s important, when evaluating your options after a personal injury, to have a basic understanding of what you can expect to recover.

In a legal claim based on injuries sustained in an accident, the financial compensation you receive is known as “damages.” There are two broad types of damages—compensatory and punitive damages. Punitive damages are relatively rare—most damages awarded in a personal injury lawsuit are designed to compensate you for some loss or injury. Punitive damages will typically be available only if the defendant acted willfully or with reckless disregard for your safety.

Compensatory damages are further categorized as either economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that are tied to some tangible loss, damages that can customarily be easily calculated. Examples of economic damages include lost wages and income, unreimbursed medical expenses and property damage. Non-economic damages are somewhat more speculative, and include such losses as physical pain and suffering or the loss of consortium or companionship. Compensation for emotional distress and loss of enjoyment of life are other examples of non-economic damages.

Contact Attorney Howard D. Popper

To learn your options when you have been injured because of the negligence or carelessness of another person, contact our office online or call attorney Popper at 973-993-8787. We have offices in Morristown and Newton, but will come to your home or the hospital, if necessary. There is no charge for your first consultation.

We handle all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You won’t be charged any legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.

Prior results are no guarantee of a specific outcome in your case. Your results may vary based on your particular facts and circumstances.