You may have heard stories of people who were awarded millions of dollars as part of a personal injury settlement. However, who or what determines how much an individual receives after being hurt in an accident? Let’s take a look at the types of compensation available to an injured victim and how they may be applied in a given case.
What Are the Actual Damages in a Case?
An injured victim is generally entitled to reimbursement to compensation for actual damages in a case. These are costs directly incurred by the victim such as a copay to see a doctor or the deductible on a car insurance policy to repair damage done to a vehicle. If an individual has to purchase a wheelchair, crutches or other equipment after being hurt, those may also be considered actual damages.
Lost Wages and Future Earnings May Also Be Included
The reason why some people may receive hundreds of thousands of dollars or more in a personal injury case is because they receive compensation for lost wages and future earnings. A 25-year-old who makes $100,000 a year and is projected to match that salary for 40 years would be entitled to at least $4 million in lost future earnings. That is in addition to whatever he or she has already lost because of injury.
Punitive Damages Could Be Added By a Jury
A personal injury lawyer Toronto may pursue punitive damages in a case in addition to actual damages and lost wages. They may be included in a total compensation package if the party responsible for causing the accident was extremely negligent. For instance, if a company refused to recall a product that was clearly dangerous, a jury may award a victim an extra $1 million to send a message that product safety needs to be a bigger priority.
What If a Plaintiff Has a Spouse or Dependents?
In addition to any compensation awarded directly to the injured victim, additional money may be awarded to help care for dependents. This may be used to help pay off a mortgage to ensure that the children have a place to live or a scholarship to pay for future college costs. A spouse or other family members may also take separate legal action to pursue compensation for loss of companionship or loss of consortium.
Anyone who has been suffered injuries in an accident that they did not cause should contact a personal injury lawyer. While there is no way to guarantee how much a given case may be worth, an attorney will work to obtain all the compensation that an individual may be entitled to.