Personal injury claims can result in large settlements. These typically contain numerous types of awards. Each award recoups some of the income lost, enjoyment of life, medical expenses, or damages incurred due to the injury. When an individual or company acts with negligence to cause harm, the injured individual can sue for appropriate and fair compensation. The award may contain any of the following types of compensatory damage awards.
Typically, you will receive compensation for all medical bills. Keep all receipts and document costs such as medical transportation. The negligent party’s insurance pays out of court settlement’s up to the policy maximum. If you sue and it goes to court, the award may also include out of pocket payments by the injuring party to completely cover the medical costs.
When you miss work due to an injury, you should document the time you had to miss. Your employer can help you with this. You may claim leave under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA), but that leave could be unpaid. You can sue to have your missed time from work compensated. You can also receive compensation for reduced shifts or hours that you took because you could not work a full day.
Also called pain and suffering damages, these include emotional distress, loss of enjoyment of life, inability to partake in previous activities or hobbies, and other intangibles. These injuries typically stem from a court settlement. A judge or jury determines the award. In other situations, a mediator may arbitrate a fair pain and suffering award.
Due to your injury, you may not capably perform your household duties, requiring you to hire a housekeeper or nanny. You may need a lawn service to mow your yard if you cannot. Those items and others like them you can also receive compensation for in a damages award.
Another type of damages exists besides compensatory. Punitive damages quantify a method of punishing the individual for doing the injured party harm. The arbitrator may negotiate these or a judge or jury may award them. When you read about a lawsuit that resulted in an award of millions of dollars, it probably includes punitive damages. Occasionally, the injuring party appeals an award. The higher court may overturn that of the lower court or reduce the damage award.
Lump Sums vs. Structured Settlements
Smaller settlements may come in the form of a lump sum payment, but large awards may come in the form of a structured settlement. This disburses the payment on an annual or monthly basis so the income flows un as an earned income would have. This reduces the taxes owed on it at both the state and federal level. This provides a steady stream of income so the injured party can pay for ongoing medical care costs.