In our last post, we spoke briefly about the high costs of brain injury for accident victims and their families. As we pointed out, it is important for accident victims to work with an experienced attorney for help and guidance in building a strong damages case. Building a strong case for damages means not only gathering detailed evidence regarding the existing costs resulting from the accident, but also the costs the plaintiff is likely to incur in the future from the accident.
Such damages are referred to as compensatory, since they are aimed at paying back the accident victim for the costs and losses he or she sustains as a result of the accident. Compensatory damages can involve past costs and future costs, and can include things like lost wages and loss of earning capacity as well. Getting an accurate measurement on compensatory damages is important in brain injury cases, and yet not always easy to do. Defendants, of course, can almost always be expected to minimize the appropriate damages award.Â
In addition to compensatory damages, non-economic compensatory damages can and should be sought when appropriate in brain injury cases. Non-economic damages, which are so-called because they are not readily measured in economic terms, include things like pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and loss of enjoyment of life. For accident victims who do not have significant compensatory damages, for one reason or another, non-economic damages are particularly important.
In some brain injury cases, punitive damages may be a possibility as well, but punitive damages are only available under certain circumstances. In our next post, weâ€™ll pick up on this point.