If someone else’s negligence caused your injury, you may be owed compensation for your medical bills and more. Compensation is categorized into three types of damages: Economic damages, non-economic damages, and punitive damages.

If you were injured because of someone else’s negligence, contact the Indianapolis personal injury attorneys at Wagner Reese to learn your options for getting compensation.

Economic Damages

A serious injury creates a large financial burden on the victim. While medical bills may be the most significant economic damage, there are other monetary damages that you can seek compensation for, such as:

  • Lost wages and benefits: You take a significant monetary hit when you are seriously injured and cannot work. Compensation for lost wages can cover various work-related financial losses, and not just your paychecks. Your compensation should also include payment for used sick days, lost bonuses, and lost earning capacity, especially for permanent injuries. Documents like pay stubs and employer letters can act as evidence of your lost wage claims so you can receive fair compensation.
  • Career change expenses: The expenses related to changing careers can be significant. If your injury limits your future career choices, you may need to train for a new type of job. Vocational schools and university expenses may be covered in economic damage awards if they are necessary for you to find a new job.
  • Travel expenses: If your injury is severe, you may be due compensation for the travel expenses related to your injury. In Indiana, mileage reimbursement is determined biannually based on gas prices. If you do not have a car or are unable to drive, you can seek compensation for the cost of hiring transportation to medical appointments.
  • Caretaker expenses: Serious injuries can limit your ability to perform tasks necessary for childcare and home maintenance. The cost of an at-home nurse or daycare can be included in your compensation demand. Paychecks missed out on by family members that needed to take time off work to care for their injured loved ones are also economic damages that can be pursued via an “in trust” claim.
  • Home modification costs: If your injury results in disability, you may need to change your home or vehicle. Modifying a home for disability accessibility costs, on average, $4,367. You should demand this cost be included in your compensation after a disabling injury.

Non-Economic Damage Compensation

Individuals who suffer injuries due to someone else’s negligence can also seek compensation for losses that can’t be as easily evidenced by missed paychecks and bills. While emotional distress and loss of quality of life have no monetary value, you may be able to recover financial compensation if you can prove your injury has resulted in severe bodily harm.

  • Pain and suffering: Damages for pain and suffering compensate you for the physical pain and emotional hardship resulting from the injury. Indiana does not place a compensation cap on pain and suffering claims except in medical malpractice cases. Attorneys argue what they believe a fair amount is, and juries or a judge determine the compensation.
  • Mental anguish: You may recover non-economic damages for mental anguish in a personal injury case if your injury has resulted in you experiencing mental hardship. This can include conditions like anxiety, depression, or feelings of distress resulting from your injury.  To prove mental anguish, you may need to present testimony from friends and family who can attest to the accident’s impact on your mental health.
  • Loss of a loved one: In Indiana, wrongful death cases award damages to family members of loved ones that died due to negligent actions. The decedent’s widow, dependents, or next of kin must show they are suffering from the loss of love and companionship. Indiana has a $300,000 limit on compensation for the loss of an adult with no spouse, dependents, or kids, per the Adult Wrongful Death Act.

Punitive Damage Compensation

Punitive damages are different from economic and non-economic damages because they are considered a punishment for the at-fault party for their careless or malicious actions that caused the injury. Indiana law limits the amount of punitive damage compensation to $50,000 or three times the compensatory award, whichever is higher.

You and your lawyers must provide clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s actions were malicious or intentional to justify receiving punitive damages.

Wagner Reese Gets You All the Compensation You Deserve

An experienced personal injury lawyer knows what evidence to collect and how to build your case to recover the maximum amount of damages for your losses. If you or a loved one has been seriously injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may qualify for economic, non-economic, and even punitive compensation.

Contact Wagner Reese today for a free consultation to see if you have grounds to pursue damages for your injuries.