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Types of Recoverable Damages in Your Personal Injury Claim

According to National Safety Council (NSC) data, Americans experienced 4.8 million injuries from motor vehicle accidents in the year 2020. Depending on their severity, these injuries could result in medical bills beyond the victims’ budgets. 

Besides physical injuries, injured individuals are often incapacitated during their treatment, denying them opportunities to earn wages and engage in other activities. 

Furthermore, some level of property damage may also occur if the accident involved a motor vehicle.

Key Takeaways

  • Auto crashes in the United States totaled 4.8 million in 2020. 
  • Victims file most of these cases as personal injury claims to recover compensation for physical injuries and property damage. 
  • Two types of recoverable damages exist in personal injury lawsuits: compensatory and punitive damages. 

When these accident cases end up in court, victims may be awarded compensation for damages suffered. The value of recoverable damages depends on the type of accident and the cost of medical expenses and property loss. 

Typically, you can recover two types of compensation for a personal injury claim: compensatory and punitive damages. You can work with a personal injury lawyer in Yonkers, New York, to help determine the overall compensation value of the claim.  

That said, here are some important things to know about these two types of damages in a personal injury case: 

What Are Compensatory Damages? 

Compensatory damages are repayments for a plaintiff’s injuries and losses due to an accident. 

Courts award these damages to accident victims to make them as “financially whole” as they were before the accident. That said, the US justice system divides compensatory damages into classes: economic and non-economic damages. 

Economic Damages 

Economic damages pay for financial losses related to the victim’s injuries. They’re generally the most straightforward damages to calculate. 

Attorneys typically value economic damages at the market price at the time of the incident. That said, here are the types of economic damages your Yonkers Personal Injury Lawyer can recover for you during your lawsuit: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Property loss 
  • Loss of wages and salaries
  • Personal care expenses 
  • Costs of living with a bodily impairment
  • Funeral costs in case of death 

Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages typically involve compensation for intangible injuries or pain and suffering suffered by an accident victim. However, since they’re intangible, these damages are quite challenging to calculate. 

Regardless, some US states have a cap on the amount of non-economic damages you can receive for personal injury and wrongful death claims. Non-economic damages typically include: 

  • Emotional distress 
  • Mental distress 
  • Pain and suffering 
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of enjoyment 
  • Loss of companionship

Your personal injury lawyer in Yonkers, New York, will consider your profession, lifestyle, and physical injuries to value the non-economic damages you can recover in your personal injury case. 

What Are Punitive Damages? 

US courts award punitive damages (otherwise called exemplary damages) to punish defendants for their actions and to caution other individuals against similar conduct. 

However, not all personal injury cases involve punitive damages. You’ll only recover punitive damages if the defendant is guilty of reckless behavior considered malicious or in disregard for other people’s safety. 

Determining Negligence to Recover Personal Injury Compensation

When you bring a personal injury claim before a court, you must prove negligence against adverse party.The defendant is said to be negligent if they breach their duty of reasonable care during the event that led to your injuries. 

You and your Yonkers, NY, personal injury lawyer must prove that the defendant had a responsibility to provide reasonable care but failed to do so. This failure to meet the required standard of care led to your injuries. 


In sum, compensatory damages in personal injury cases are repayments for the injuries you suffered from the incident, and punitive damages are used as a punishment for defendants and as a deterrent to others. 

That said, you’ll need to work with a personal injury lawyer in Yonkers, New York, to value your compensation claim and prove negligence against the defendant to recover your damages. 

Were you a victim of an accident due to another driver’s negligence? Suffered severe injuries during the incident and considering a lawsuit? Contact us at Stufano Law!

We’ll schedule a free consultation within 24 hours of your first phone call to determine how we might be able to help. Contact us today! 


What Types of Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Claim? 

Depending on your injuries and the value of medical bills, you can recover compensatory and punitive damages in your personal injury claim. 

Can I Sue for Emotional Distress? 

Since emotional distress is a type of recoverable damage in a personal injury, you can sue for emotional distress in New York courts. However, you must support your claim with evidence. 


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