How Damages Are Assessed

Personal Injury

Understanding How Damages Are Assessed in Personal Injury Cases

At the Law Office of Joel J. Turney, we understand that many people are unfamiliar with personal injury cases. We’re also aware that many people do not know how damages are assessed. When you know how they’re assessed you’ll have a better idea of how your personal injury case is likely to perform in court.

This article takes a brief look at how damages are assessed so you have a better understanding.

General and Special Damages

General damages are those which are awarded for non-monetary losses. They are also known as “Non-pecuniary losses”. They can refer to pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life. Special damages are those which are measured in monetary terms or “pecuniary terms”. For example, special damages could be awarded for the cost of your medical treatment.

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering refer to the physical pain that has been caused by the accident. It also refers to distress, anxiety, and embarrassment. There is also another part of pain & suffering known as “Loss of amenity”. This refers to the lack of ability to enjoy life at all or quite as much as you once did. For example, if you sustained a significant injury to the knee you may no longer be able to play certain sports. The plaintiff is also entitled to compensation for future pain and suffering to the extent that the plaintiff has been able to demonstrate an injury that is permanent in nature. Future pain and suffering is projected over the life expectancy of the plaintiff.

Loss of Earnings

Loss of earnings can potentially be one of the easiest aspects to calculate. It is also one of the most important part of your claim’s monetary value. The court will take a look at how much you would have earned. If you were paid weekly the court will multiply the cost by the number of weeks you have been out of work.

If you are self-employed you will need to show evidence of your net earnings. To the extent that the plaintiff is unable to return to work a claim for future loss of earnings can be projected based upon the plaintiff’s work expectancy. In order to support such a claim, we often use an expert for the purposes of a vocational assessment and an economist to calculate the base line earnings at the time of the loss and the expected increases in earnings over time due to

inflation. In certain types of personal injury cases, where the plaintiff has been unable to return to work or has returned in a position that pays significantly less than the position occupied at the time of the accident, the future loss of earnings claim can be one of the biggest aspect of damages.

Medical Services

Medical expenses can soon mount up, particularly if you need on-going treatment. The court will take a look at how much you have already paid for your medical treatment and how much you will need to pay.

The Settlement Needs to Cover More Than The Basics


You might need to hire or purchase a new vehicle if your old one was damaged during your accident. You might also need to factor in public transportation costs. Don’t forget to think about the trips you made to the hospital or to see your physical therapist. Make sure you keep any receipts you are given so you can prove to the court that you had to pay to travel.

Here at The Law Office of Joel J. Turney, we do everything we can to assess the various categories of damages and support your case with the best evidence that can be presented in support of your damages claim. Much of being a successful personal injury law firm is the ability to present your damages claim in the most effective manner possible. How your damages are assessed and presented can greatly affect the value of your case… Contact us today so we can help you get the financial recovery you need.

Only you can take the first step to your financial recovery. Call us and we will take care of the rest. Contact without hesitation for a free no-obligation consultation.