Recovering Damages in a Personal Injury Case in Idaho

Recovering Damages with Coeur d’Alene Personal Injury Lawyer, Ryan Sargent

The damage can be much more than physical when it comes to a personal injury. For many victims, the aftermath of a severe accident means months off work, intense physical therapy, a series of surgeries, or simply a reduced quality of life. Fortunately, the law considers this and gives accident individuals the opportunity to seek compensation for the entire array of injuries they suffered as a result of the defendant’s negligence – including both the seen and unseen. At the Sargent Law Firm, you will work with a Coeur d’Alene personal injury lawyer to establish the full value (short- and long-term) of all of your damages.

Compensatory Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Compensatory damages compensate you for your losses and expenses, as the name implies. This type of recovery is based on the plaintiff’s evidence of economic loss. This category can include any of the following types of financial compensation, also known as “actual damages.”:

  • Medical bills, co-pays, prescription drug costs, nursing care, rehabilitation costs, and any other medical-related fee.
  • Lost wages and the value of any missed benefits or promotions directly caused by the employee’s accident-related absence.
  • Lost future earnings based on the plaintiff’s projected lifetime earnings.
  • Property damage.
  • Costs associated with vocational rehabilitation.
  • Any other “verifiable monetary loss.”

For some of these categories – especially lost future wages and estimated medical bills – it may be necessary to retain the services of a monetary expert to help forecast the precise amount of the financial impact caused by the incident. For other matters, a simple invoice or document detailing the expense will suffice.

General Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Unlike compensatory damages, general damages are not as easily quantifiable. For plaintiffs having suffered catastrophic loss, significant injuries, or a drastic reduction in the quality of life, it may be possible to successfully seek compensation for the emotional and mental impact of a severe accident. In Idaho, general damages include any of the following categories:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Inconvenience
  • Mental suffering
  • Emotional stress
  • Loss of society and companionship
  • Loss of consortium
  • Injury to reputation
  • Humiliation

This category of damages includes injuries that are “subjective, non-monetary losses,” and require a case that completely details the everlasting impact of a severe incident and derivative injuries. In particularly severe instances, general damages awards can be extensive – often approaching the six- and seven-figure range.

Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Personal injury lawsuits intend to make the plaintiff financially “whole” again. Civil laws are not generally designed to punish a defendant, as opposed to criminal law, – punitive financial measures are warranted, unless the defendant’s conduct was so egregious,.

In Idaho, punitive damages may be attached to compensatory and general damages as a way to essentially punish a defendant for committing such heinous misconduct against the plaintiff. Accordingly, a plaintiff must show that the defendant’s actions were intentional, malicious, or excessively reckless. In other words, punitive damages are not recoverable for simple accidents or even gross negligence.

Speak with a Coeur d’Alene Personal Injury Lawyer today!

To learn more about your legal options and the compensation you are entitled to, contact the Sargent Law Firm today at 208-600-6000. Your initial consultation is FREE.

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