What Damages Can I Recover in a Personal Injury Case?

November 25, 2020 Personal Injury

Accidents can happen at any time, in any place, and often result in life-altering injuries, financial hardship, and emotional trauma. If someone’s negligent actions caused your accident, you deserve just compensation — and you can claim this compensation through a personal injury lawsuit in the form of economic and non-economic damages. The state of Nevada has strict rules regarding which damages you are allowed to recover.

Economic Damages

There are two main types of compensatory damages in a personal injury claim: economic damages and non-economic damages. While non-economic damages compensate you for the physical and emotional pain and suffering you sustained, economic damages concern tangible financial losses. All of the damages you claim must be directly related to the injuries you sustain in the accident.

The bulk of your economic damages will likely involve your past and future medical care. Personal injury lawsuits involve some sort of physical and/or emotional injury you sustain during the accident, and these injuries almost always require medical treatment.

You can claim compensation for any medical care you require, including the following.

  • Hospitalizations
  • Surgeries
  • Doctor’s visits
  • Diagnostic expenses
  • Home health care costs
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Mobility devices and disability accommodations
  • Prescription medications
  • Specialist treatment

In addition to medical care, economic damages also include lost wages during your recovery period and a loss of future earnings if your injury prevents you from returning to work, including benefits, bonuses, and commissions. You can also recover compensation for any property damage you sustained, including vehicle repairs or replacements.

Pain and Suffering Damages

Pain and suffering damages, or non-economic damages, refer to the physical and emotional turmoil you experienced as a result of the accident. These damages can be difficult to quantify due to the lack of physical evidence; you will need to speak to your Las Vegas personal injury lawyer to determine which losses you may qualify for and their estimated value.

Common types of non-economic damages include the following.

  • Chronic pain
  • Disability
  • Disfigurement and scarring
  • Loss of use of a body part or function
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of quality of life

In some cases, your spouse may be eligible to bring a special type of pain and suffering claim to the court for loss of consortium. This refers to the loss of affection, sexual relationships, comfort, and other types of companionship that you can no longer provide due to your injuries.

Personal Injury Damage Caps in Nevada

While Nevada does allow you to collect compensation after an accident, the state does impose damage caps, or limits, in certain cases.

  • If you are filing a medical malpractice claim, you can claim up to $350,000 in pain and suffering damages. You can claim the full value of your economic damages.
  • Nevada allows punitive damages if the at-fault party in your case acted with malice, fraud, or conscious disregard for the safety of others. You can claim up to three times the amount of your compensatory damages in punitive damages.
  • If you are filing a claim against a government employee, you can collect up to $100,000 in total damages.

Determining the estimated value of your personal injury settlement is an important step to ensuring you receive fair compensation. However, it can be difficult to make an accurate calculation without an experienced Las Vegas accident attorney on your side. If you have not done so already, contact an attorney as soon as possible after your accident to discuss your legal options.