In each state, there are specific statutes that govern the limits of compensation that may be awarded for damages in a personal injury claim. Continue reading to learn more about personal injury damages, including facts about damage caps and similar limitations on personal injury recompense.
Compensation Limitations for Personal Injury Claims
State laws and various other legal principles have the ability to restrict the amount of money that can be awarded for damages in a personal injury case. These statutes vary from state to state and depend on a wide range of factors. Personal injury claims generally recognize and consider three types of losses, referred to as “compensatory damages”, which include economic losses, future economic losses, and non-economic losses. See our blog, “A Brief Explanation of Compensatory, Nominal, and Punitive Damages” to learn more about these types of personal injury damages.
Economic losses may include medical expenses, hospital bills, OTC medication costs, prescription costs, lost wages, time off work, childcare expenses, home maintenance expenses, fuel costs (to and from doctors’ visits), and similar expenditures.
Types of future economic losses may include prolonged medical treatment, physical therapy, long-term care, future medical expenses, future prescription costs, future hospital costs, and more. Non-economic losses may include pain and suffering, permanent disability, permanent disfigurement, mental anguish, PSTD, loss of social life, loss of work abilities, loss of companionship, loss of education experience, and more.
Non-Economic Damage Caps
Generally, state statutes set limits on the amount of money that can be awarded for damages in a personal injury case. These limits are known as “damage caps”, and they differ depending on the state in which the accident took place, type of injury, the scope of loss, and several other relevant factors.
Since economic damages are more concrete, there are not usually compensation limits set by the state. However, non-economic damages and punitive damages are more subjective in terms of evaluation, which is why most states integrate damage caps into the law.
For instance, it is very common practice for states to have a damage cap on medical malpractice cases. Common limits for personal injury cases can range anywhere from $350,000 to $750,000. Although damage caps exist for many personal injury cases, there are exceptions to the rule, such as in the case of wrongful death, loss of limb, and severe injuries.
Punitive Damage Caps
Punitive damages, also known as exemplary damages, are intended to punish the at-fault party, while also setting an example to the public as a deterrent for the particular negligence involved in the case. Generally, the amount of compensation awarded for punitive damages is based on the net worth or wealth of the at-fault party.
However, many states set limits as to how much a tortfeasor can be ordered to pay. These are known as punitive damage caps. States use different formulas and schedules for such caps, including fixed limits, fixed multipliers, and more. For example, a state may set a punitive damage cap at three times the amount of total economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury case.
Are you and injured victim looking for a skilled civil litigator to represent your personal injury case in Indiana? Contact Carl Brizzi LAW at 317-636-7497 to speak with a seasoned personal injury lawyer in Indianapolis, Indiana. Meet over the phone or in person for a free consultation.