What Are The Categories For Compensable Losses?

Tort law uses the word “damages” when referring to the losses suffered by the victim of an accident. At the same time, the legal system has established 2 different categories for victims’ damages.

Special damages

These are also called economic damages. Their economic impact is easy to determine, because the victim’s loss can be expressed in terms of money. These are the victim’s out-of-pocket expenses. Those same expenses can be calculated. A listing of the sources for such expenses would include the cost for repairs, the money spent on medical treatments, any lost wages, and loss of any irreplaceable items.

General Damages

This category has a second label: Non-economic. Each loss in this category can prove difficult to express in terms of money lost. This category demands compensation from the defendant, even if that same defendant had no way of understanding the level of harm that he or she was causing. In other words, defendants must pay for the harm done to someone with a residual injury.

This category includes pain and suffering, disfigurement, the impairment of a body part or function, mental anguish, and a diminishing effect on the victims’ quality of life. In cases where the defendant’s actions have caused a wrongful death, certain victims can be compensated for the loss of companionship.

Factors that determine the size of compensation for any level of general damage

The gruesome nature of the injury: Gruesome injuries tend to get associated with disfiguring or disabling conditions. The life-changing nature of such conditions gives the lawyer for the affected victim a reason to seek a sizable award.

The sensitivity of the jury: The degree to which the jury feels sorry for an injured plaintiff affects the size of the package that gets used to compensate that same plaintiff.

The ability of an attorney to hire good experts: A medical expert should be able to provide information on any future treatments that a given plaintiff might need. The possible, or almost certain need for such treatments can increase the value of the plaintiff’s case.

The ability of a Personal Injury Lawyer in Edmonton to make use of the facts presented by an expert: A good lawyer explains to the jury the various ways that the expert’s statements could affect the future life of an injured client. Consider, for instance, how a lawyer might make use of information about the risk for infections in an implanted device.

If the lawyer’s client has been given an implanted device, then that client stands at risk for developing an infection. Once a device gets infected, it must be replaced. That could mean time away from the workplace. That forced sick leave would reduce the number of the client’s assigned sick days.