Baton Rouge, LA – There are several different things that can help an accident victim throughout the process of a personal injury lawsuit. The main reason most victims bring cases is for financial help due to medical costs and missed time from work. However, there also may be additional types of damages available. In cases where the defendant acted recklessly or with malice, the judge may allow the plaintiff to receive punitive damages as well.
What are punitive damages?
Punitive damages are essentially meant to punish the defendant for various kinds of behavior that are either reckless or illegal. One of the only ways punitive damages are awarded under Louisiana law is if the defendant was a drunk driver. Punitive damages are not meant for any kind of compensation, and they tend to reflect the defendant’s conduct rather than the severity of the result of their actions. This is the main way that civil courts hand out punishment, as criminal penalties are handled through a separate court system.
Another important type of compensation that is available in most serious accident cases is related to pain and suffering. Things like trauma, emotional stress, physical pain tied to an injury, and mental health problems can be difficult to translate into a dollar value. However, some attorneys are skilled in negotiation and argument, and they have had success getting settlement agreements or jury verdicts for clients who have suffered after a car collision. Because non-economic damages tend to be highly variable based on each injury, the victim should consult with a lawyer to get a more clear estimate of their potential non-economic damages. However, when an accident was more severe and created long term or permanent injuries, there will usually be larger amounts of damages available.
The process to calculate damages
An accident victim may require multiple medical examinations by doctors or specialists to get a complete idea regarding how their condition may affect their ability to function. This can include testimony from the physician during trial or a deposition, or evidence from x-rays and pictures of the victim’s injuries. The attorney for the plaintiff can list this estimate of medical costs in their initial complaint that starts the lawsuit. If the defendant is clearly at fault, they may agree to a settlement shortly after the initial filing in order to avoid larger losses at trial.
Talking to a local attorney about personal injury lawsuits
Miller, Hampton, and Hilgendorf is a firm that handles various kinds of injury and accident cases in the Baton Rouge area. Potential clients can schedule a meeting with the firm to learn more about how their case will proceed and how an attorney can help.
Firm contact info:
3960 Government St., Baton Rouge, LA 70806