What Are The Recoverable Damages In A Premises Liability Case?
Once Defendant’s liability has been established or admitted, the Plaintiff must prove the proper amount of damages to be awarded. The Plaintiff will then be awarded financial compensation or “damages” from the at-fault Defendant.
Premises Liability Compensatory Damages
Damages are the amount of money that will compensate the Plaintiff for all the detriment proximately caused by the wrongful or negligent act of the Defendant. In personal injury cases, Compensatory Damages are awarded to compensate the injured person for his or her actual loss. Damages in a personal injury case are intended to “make the Plaintiff whole.” Realistically, it is impossible to make the injured Plaintiff “whole,” because it simply is too difficult to put a dollar amount on symptoms such as pain and suffering. The main overall objective is to best put the injured Plaintiff back to the position he or she would have been had the injury not occurred.
Premises Liability General and Special Damages
Compensatory Damages, also known as “actual” damages, consist of two different categories: economic damages (Special Damages) and non-economic damages (General Damages).
Special Damages consist of all economic out-of-pocket losses as a result of the injury, which can be proved by objective verifiable documentary evidence such as medical bills, receipts, cancelled checks, and business and wage records. Special Damages are those that have a financial economic monetary value, such as medical bills and expenses, loss of income, or costs of services.
General Damages are those that are intangible and do not have a monetary value, such as subjective pain and suffering, mental anguish, consequential emotional distress, or the loss of consortium (the loss of domestic marital relations). These are often times referred to as “quality of life” damages.
Serious Injury From Premises Liability
In practice, to be successful in a premises liability case, the injured victim must have a “hard” injury – one that imaging such as an x-ray will reveal. The injury must be clearly visible. The injury must be obvious, such as a fracture. The case will likely not be successful if there is only “soft tissue” injury.
Medical Treatment For Injuries From Premises Liability
Moreover, the injured victim must have undergone significant medical treatment. For example, the victim must have suffered a fracture with surgical intervention or lengthy immobilization and rehabilitation. The injury must not be one such as a fracture that heals in one month in a cast. Rather, the injury must be universally recognized as painful, such as a serious leg fracture. Permanent impairment is also beneficial in a premises liability case.
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