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What types of damages can I be compensated for in a personal injury case?

In a personal injury case, the damages you suffer will depend on the nature of the accident and the extent of your injuries. When determining the value of your case, your personal injury lawyer will look at all of the damages that apply to your case.

There are several types of damages. Special compensatory damages are damages that can be calculated. These damages have actual dollar amounts attached to them and include loss of earnings, medical bills, property damage and expenses caused by the accident.

General compensatory damages are non-monetary damages. These tend to be emotional in nature and include mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life and pain and suffering.

If the accident has caused a loved one to die, the surviving family members can receive wrongful death damages. These include medical bills, funeral and burial expenses, loss of financial and emotional support and mental anguish.

Punitive damages may be pursued, but are quite rare since there needs to be evidence of reckless and wanton conduct by the defendant. Nevertheless, these damages are sometimes awarded in cases where the defendant's behavior was so egregious (e.g., driving while heavily intoxicated) that the court wants to affirmatively punish the at-fault party. 

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