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What recoverable damages are available in a New York personal injury case?

If someone else’s negligent conduct caused you to be injured, you may be able to sue for compensation. Depending on the circumstances of the accident, a personal injury attorney could help you recover compensatory damages, which address past and projected economic losses, and punitive damages, which are intended to punish the negligent party and discourage similar conduct in the future.

Compensatory damages

The purpose of these damages is to make you “whole” again by compensating you financially for losses you incurred after the accident. Examples of compensatory damages include:

  • Medical expenses: If you require hospitalization and continued medical treatment, then you can claim the cost of your hospital bill, prescription medication, and rehabilitation treatment such as physical therapy and massage therapy.
  • Lost wages: If your injuries force you to miss work, then you can demand compensation for lost wages. Should you be unable to work again, you may be eligible for a significant settlement or award.
  • Pain and suffering: In New York, you can claim damages for pain and suffering if you experienced what the no-fault insurance law terms a “serious injury.” Qualifying injuries include amputation, permanent loss of an organ, loss of a fetus, and broken bones.
  • Loss of consortium: If you are married and your injury has had a negative impact on your sexual and/or emotional relations with your spouse, then he or she may be able to recover damages for loss of consortium.
  • Property damage: If personal property, such as a car or bicycle, are damaged during the accident, then you can seek compensation for the cost of repairing or replacing it. If your car was totaled, then you could include the costs of renting a vehicle while yours is being repaired.

Punitive damages

Punitive damages are typically applied when the person who injured you is a repeat offender. For example, if you were hit by a drunk driver who had previous DUIs on their record, then the court could impose punitive damages to punish them for their reckless behavior. Other situations where such damages may be appropriate include:

  • A store has so many customers experience slip and fall injuries that the court imposes punitive damages to make it take its responsibilities seriously.
  • The defendant’s actions include committing a serious crime, such as assault or robbery.
  • A nursing home intentionally ignores the health and well-being of its residents.

When another party’s reckless or negligent actions leave you injured and cause you to suffer losses, contact a New York personal injury attorney who can pursue a substantial settlement to compensate you for those losses. While money may not undo all the damage, it can provide you with the means to recover and rebuild your future.

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