Damages from a Personal Injury Accident in Washington DC

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As an experienced DC personal injury attorney may tell you, the value of a personal injury lawsuit following an accident caused by someone else’s negligence is heavily debated. Interestingly, the various damages the injured party might seek are reasonably straightforward. Determining a fair value, on the other hand, is much more challenging. There are various parties – including the defendant or at-fault party – who need to be persuaded that the injured plaintiff’s claim is rightful and is thus owed monetary compensation. As a DC personal injury attorney may attest, it is helpful to understand the different kinds of damages themselves, which are divided into two main categories: punitive damages and compensatory damages.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are granted in a very limited amount of cases, in which the court deems it appropriate to instruct the jury to grant punitive damages. These damages are rare because their main purpose is to serve as a punishment for an egregious form of conduct, thereby deterring others from conducting in the same manner in the future. Punitive damages are only allowed when the court allows such an issue to proceed. These damages are awarded in an extremely limited number of cases and under very rare circumstances. When a court allows the issue of punitive damages to move forward to the jury, the jury is given specific instructions in regard to the factors necessary to award punitive damages.

As the Washington DC injury lawyers of Cohen & Cohen know, punitive damages are almost never granted in personal injury cases. It is very rare for a jury to even be allowed to consider awarding these damages. On the rare occasion that a case does qualify for punitive damages, the jury awards punitive damages in correspondence with the instructions for the jury.

Compensatory Damages

Economic and non-economic damages are the two forms of compensatory damages. Economic damages are expenses that resulted directly from the accident. Non-economic damages depend upon the losses and abuses sustained by the victim.

Economic

Because economic damages are explicit, they are easier to determine than non-economic damages. Economic damages include:

Total sum of medical bills (including past, present and future): Medical bills from the past are simple to count, as a DC personal injury attorney understands. However, victims who have not fully recovered may need additional  medical treatments in the future, so those costs need to be predicted.

Loss of income: Determining the amount of income that was lost before the settlement or trial is quite straightforward, which may include lost benefits (medical, dental etc.). However, disability to the patient that last beyond the trial, as well as additional loss of wages, needs to be predicted.

Non-economic

Pain and suffering: While this concept may be relatively easy to grasp, it is often the cause of serious conflict between defendants and plaintiffs. Usually, the defense tries to downplay the harms and losses suffered by the victim, as this lowers the compensation that will be rewarded. For this reason, the plaintiff’s DC personal injury attorney should compile a solid case with the necessary documentation to convey the true level of losses suffered by the victim, as well as the span of time the victim suffered. There are various forms of pain and suffering that may be factored into this loss, including mental suffering, damage to the victim’s professional and/or personal reputation, emotional suffering, and the potential worsening of those losses. As a DC personal injury attorney knows well, “pain” is not easily quantifiable, so damages for pain and suffering are often difficult to determine and even more difficult to negotiate.

Loss of consortium: This refers to the loss of love or care that a family member or loved one provides. While this may seem vague, there are actuarial tables that can calculate these losses. It may be helpful to consult with an experienced DC personal injury attorney of Cohen & Cohen as to whether or not a victim will be able to return to their chosen profession, or any other job, after a serious injury.

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Injury Attorneys DC, MD, VA – Get the Compensation You Deserve! Whether you have been injured in a car accident, a malpractice victim, injured on the job, as the result of shoddy craftsmanship, or in a slip and fall, we can help! Our experienced, competent attorneys excel in all areas of personal injury law.

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Catastrophic Injuries DC, MD, VA

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Truck Accidents DC, MD, VA

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"My experience with Cohen & Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back."
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"I am very pleased with the outcome of my case. I received more than the amount that I originally thought and am very satisfied with how my case turned out. Jill, the attorney working on my case did an excellent job advocating for me to the insurance company and getting me a good settlement. A special shout out to Bryan Moran, who always kept me posted on the updates of my case and was always super responsive to my questions. They are a really thoughtful team, I would definitely recommend to my friends and family."
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Cohen & Cohen has an  impeccable Client Satisfaction Rating with hundreds of
5 STAR Reviews. We are among the best-rated firms in the areas we serve.

L Proctor
August 30, 2022.
My experience with Cohen &Cohen was beyond my expectations. Jill did an amazing job with negotiating on my behalf and got me way more money than I anticipated. Thank you for having my back.
Ebony Stoutmiles
June 23, 2022.
To say that I am happy with the outcome of my case is the understatement of the century! Jill Stanley is a BEAST at what she does. That is the only way to explain it. She takes no prisoners. She and her team are very skilled and knowledgeable. I am so happy I trusted them to do their job and rolled with Jill's suggestions. I would choose Jill again 100 times. She settled my case for more than I imagined I would receive. I was literally in tears. It is the best feeling to know my pain isn't for naught. Wayne Cohen and Kristopher Yorke were nothing short of amazing. They have the patience of saints. I'm 100% certain that I got on their last nerves with my frustration and tears at every other call I had with them. Being in pain and wanting to just be able to heal was all I could focus on, but they helped me realize that I also had to focus on the bigger picture (the case) so I could put this piece behind me. As a high-strung individual with anxiety, it was hard for me to not worry and let them do their jobs, but they reassured me all of the time that they had this. To be injured before the start of the pandemic and have to receive regular, weekly treatment while others are able to stay home is anxiety inducing. I was in pain, I was anxious, and I was just hoping it all worked out. It more than worked out. I hope Jill, Siri, and Kris know how much their hard work and "hanging in there" meant to me. I am eternally grateful. I can't recommend you all enough. If you choose this law firm, you won't be sorry!
Beloved Temple
June 3, 2022.
I was very pleased with the handling of my case and settlement with Cohen& Cohen. I appreciate them, would highly recommend them.
willie howell
May 25, 2022.
COHEN & COHEN ARE THE BEST I WAS INVOLVED IN A REAR END CAR CRASH AND 2 YEARS LATER I HAVE RECEIVED MY SETTLEMENT I AM VERY EXCITED TO SAY BRYAN!!! IS THE MAN HE INSURED THEY WILL TAKE CARE OF ME AND THEY DID 100% ANY QUESTIONS I ASKED THEY WERE ANSWERED. Jill and SIRI WAS ALSO REMARKABLE AND SHOWED THEY REALLY CARED I RECOMMEND COHEN &COHEN TO ANYONE THEY ALSO MADE SURE I GOT MORE THAN EXPECTED WHICH WAS AMAZING I APPRECIATE YOU GUYS THANK U💯
Jose Rivera
May 25, 2022.
The legal team at cohen & cohen did a great job I really appreciate the hard work on gating my compensation in a fair amount of time. Special thanks to Kris for a wonderful job
Lea Harvey
May 25, 2022.
I had a great experience with the team at Cohen & Cohen. From my intake attorney, Adam, to the paralegal, Bryan, who worked with me regularly for months to document and prepare my case, to Jill, the attorney who secured my settlement, I feel fortunate to have had their representation and expertise on my side.
Cameron Galloway (HustleDaGod)
May 19, 2022.
Kris was phenomenal. Spectacular communication & knowledge in regards to my case. Would definitely return if I needed more legal services. 100% definitely recommend.

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