Personal injury is just one of the aspects of product liability, although it is often used to refer to how a product defect has adversely affected the plaintiff. The term “damages” is also widely used in civil tort cases but most people only have a vague idea of what it is.
There are two types of damages: compensatory and punitive. According to the website of law firm Ravid & Associates, P.C. in Detroit, compensatory damages refer to actual costs to the plaintiff as a result of the product defect such as medical expenses, property repair or replacement, loss of income and disability expenditure. Punitive damages, as the term implies, is a type of punishment for the defendant for causing injury in the first place, and includes loss of consortium as well as the ever-popular pain and suffering.
Damages are always expressed in financial terms, and it is determined based on a set of factors that has been established from previous cases. Instances where permanent lifestyle changes become necessary complicates a claim. Some states may have a cap on punitive damages, and some may not allow it under certain scenarios. Habush Habush & Rottier S.C.® would know these differences and be able to communicate them with you. They could also help you determine whether or not your claim is valid.
Determining what would essentially be “payment” to alleviate whatever suffering and losses that accrued to a particular plaintiff because of a defendant’s wrongful act is not always easy. In most cases, punitive damages are much more subjective because in general a jury decides on fair value for something non-quantifiable such as pain and suffering. In contrast, compensatory damages are based on economic losses that can be quantified, such as medical bills. In consequence, punitive damages fluctuate wildly depending on the type of jury, and are the source of much debate on appeal.
It is in the best interest of the plaintiff that the amount of damages is not disputed because it means a quicker process. It is therefore essential that the lawyer chosen has experience in handling personal injury cases in the pertinent state because he or she would know what amount and type of damages is reasonable and unlikely to be challenged.