Personal Injury Settlements: 6 Important Facts to Know (Pt. 2)

August 20, 2014

Picking up from where Personal Injury Settlements: 6 Important Facts to Know (Pt. 1) left off, here we will discuss a few more crucial facts that you should be aware of when you may be ready to start a lawsuit to secure compensation for a personal injury.

More Important Facts about Personal Injury Settlements

Fact 3 – Mental suffering and impacts to your quality of life can be covered by personal injury settlements.

Although personal injury settlements will usually compensate people for impacts to their quality of life, punitive damages will not be available in all cases.

Although personal injury settlements will usually compensate people for impacts to their quality of life, punitive damages will not be available in all cases.

When personal injuries may have had some impacts to an individual’s mental state and/or quality of life (even for a short term), these impacts may be covered in personal injury settlements. Here, however, it’s important to point out that establishing the extent of mental impacts and the degree to which a person’s quality of life may have suffered can be tricky. As a result, it may be necessary to retain psychologists or other experts to evaluate a person’s mental state and to testify to the nature and severity of the mentals impacts sustained.

There may be some other ways to establish these significant yet elusive impacts, so it’s best to consult with an attorney for specific answers pertaining to a particular case.

Fact 4 – In some cases, personal injury settlements can include punitive damages.

When people talk about personal injury settlements covering costs like medical bills, repair bills, lost wages, etc., these financial components are specifically known as compensatory damages. In other words, these damages are intended to compensate injured people for their losses and injuries related to the accident or incident that has formed the basis of the case.

In contrast to compensatory damages are punitive damages, which are intended to punish the negligent party responsible for a person’s injuries. Instead of trying to make the victim or injured person “whole” again (like compensatory damages are intended to do), punitive damages are meant to penalize some party for its negligence and try to deter that party from ever acting in a similar manner in the future.

Punitive damages are not available for every type of personal injury claim, and even if they are an option for a given case, people should be aware of the fact that some courts, judges and/or juries view these damages in a negative light (mainly because these damages can be associated with frivolous claims). Nevertheless, if punitive damages are an option for a person and his case, the mere possibility of them can be enough to get a defendant to make a fair and substantial settlement offer prior to a trial (in order to avoid  having to pay far more in punitive damages if a jury or judge ultimately awards them).

Don’t miss the final installment of this blog series that will be posted soon!

Portland Personal Injury Lawyers at the Savage Law Firm: Experience You Can Count On

Have you or a loved one suffered a personal injury? If so, you can count on the Portland personal injury attorneys at the Savage Law Firm to advocate your rights to compensation and justice. Since 1977, we have been committed to providing each of our clients with personal attention, respect and the highest quality legal services.

Our Portland personal injury attorneys encourage you to learn more about your rights and case by setting up a free initial consult. We represent clients in communities in both Oregon and Washington from our offices in Portland and Seattle.

To learn more about our legal services and what we can do for you, call us at 503-222-0200 (in Portland) or at 206-957-7272 (in Seattle). You can also email us using the form on this page.

Categories: Blog, Personal Injuries, Portland Personal Injury Lawyers