Damages in a Negligence Case

The final element in your negligence case is damage. The other elements — duty, breach, cause-in-fact and proximate cause — may all be clearly established, but if there are no damages then there can be no negligence lawsuit. Your damages can fall into one of several categories.

Economic damages

The typical car accident costs a lot of money. Those damages include:

  • Property damage. Even a minor bump or scrape can cause hundreds of dollars in damage to your car. A moderate or severe accident can cause thousands of dollars or even total your car. If you must replace your car, the replacement cost is part of your economic damages. Even if you keep your car, the defendant is responsible for your car’s reduced resale value due to the accident and subsequent repair.
  • Lost wages. Many victims must miss work both due to the immediate injury, and also to visit the doctor for follow-up visits and therapy sessions. In more severe cases, the plaintiff may be disabled or dead and unable to return to work at all.
  • Medical bills. Reimbursable medical expenses include past medical expenses, current medical expenses and also future medical expenses. While past and current medical expenses are easily established, an expert witness is usually needed to accurately predict your future medical expenses.
  • Exemplary damages. Depending on the facts of your case, punitive damages may be available to punish the defendant and deter future wrongful conduct.

Noneconomic damages

In addition to the actual monetary costs, there are emotional costs as well. Your damages include fair compensation for pain and suffering, loss of consortium, loss of enjoyment of life and other injuries which have no fixed price tag.

For total representation in your negligence case, contact the personal injury attorneys at McPhillips Shinbaum to schedule your free consultation.