Barnstable, MA Personal Injury Lawyer

Injuries are never pleasant. However, an injury that happened because someone else was negligent can be even worse. On top of the knowledge that the injury could have been avoided, these types of injuries are usually quite serious and may require lengthy medical care. The cost of such care can easily balloon into hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you are injured and dealing with hefty medical bills, our lawyers can help. We can gather evidence, talk to relevant parties, and fight hard for you in court so that you get the compensation you deserve.

Call our personal injury lawyers from the Law Office of John J. Sheehan at (617) 925-6407 to get a free case review.

Types of Damages for Barnstable, MA Personal Injury Lawsuits

A court uses damages to compensate plaintiffs for their injuries. The idea is to get plaintiffs back to the state they were in prior to getting injured. Often, one of the primary ways of doing this is to give financial compensation to the plaintiff.

There are three main types of damages in personal injury lawsuits: economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages stem from expenses with tangible monetary values. Items like hospital bills, costs of medical treatment, and expenses for long-term medical care or for physical therapy to recover from injuries will fall under the umbrella of economic damages.

On top of the expenses related to medical recovery, you can be awarded economic damages based on lost income. If you had to miss work because you were recovering from the injuries, courts can reimburse you for the income you would have received if you had been able to continue working during that period. Similarly, if you had to take a job with worse pay or are prevented from working entirely because of the injuries, you can be awarded damages based on the difference between your current and prior income or based on what you would have earned for the rest of your career, respectively.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damage covers things that are more nebulous than economic damages. Plaintiffs can be awarded non-economic damages for things like mental anguish, pain and suffering, or loss of enjoyment of life.

Pain and suffering is fairly self-explanatory. You can argue in court that you should be awarded damages based on how much your injuries hurt. This includes not just the initial pain from the accident but also any pain you were in during recovery and any chronic pain you will have to deal with because of your injuries. Mental anguish refers to the distress you felt or continue to feel because of your injuries.

Lost enjoyment of life is a little more complicated to explain. Essentially, you are asking for damages based on the fact that you cannot do certain tasks anymore. For example, if you were an avid rock climber but lost your ability to do that due to injuries sustained in a car accident, you can ask for damages because you can no longer participate in that activity. Similarly, you can also ask for damages based on an inability to do basic tasks. For example, if your injuries are such that you need live-in medical assistance, you can ask for damages for the lost autonomy in your life.

Since there is no price tag attached to non-economic damages, you and our lawyers will have to come up with and argue for an amount appropriate to your situation.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are unique from other kinds of damages in that they are not based on the situation of the plaintiff. Instead, they are determined by the conduct of the defendant. Punitive damages are only awarded when the defendant has done something especially bad and the court wants to send a message that the defendant’s conduct is unacceptable.

Punitive damages awards are rare, so you will need a compelling argument if you are asking the court for them in your personal injury lawsuit.

Calculating Damages in Barnstable, MA Personal Injury Lawsuits

When you sue for injuries, you have to state the amount you are asking for in damages. Generally, most of the legwork will involve figuring out non-economic damages because economic damages are easier to establish through evidence like receipts or bills. There is no set way to calculate damages for a personal injury lawsuit. However, we will go over some of the more common ways of calculating damages below.

Multiplier Method

The multiplier method simply takes your economic damages and multiplies them by a factor agreed upon by you and our lawyers for your economic damages. For example, if you had $100,000 in medical bills as economic damages, you could multiply that number 3 times to ask for $300,000 in non-economic damages for a total of $400,000 in damages.

The multiple method is commonly used for injuries that will affect the plaintiff for the rest of their life. For that reason, the amount that economic damages are multiplied by can be quite high.

Daily Method

The daily or “per diem” method takes into account the pain you experienced each day you were dealing with your injuries instead of a set multiple of your medical bills. The idea is that you assign a set value to the pain you experienced each day from your injuries and then add up the days that you were dealing with the injuries. This method of calculating damages is more commonly used for plaintiffs whose injuries will resolve at some point, since, if the injury were permanent, the amount would be infinite, and a court will not award infinite damages, no matter how deserving the plaintiff.

Our Barnstable, MA Personal Injury Lawyers Can Help

Our personal injury lawyers from the Law Office of John J. Sheehan offer free case reviews when you call (617) 925-6407.