Throughout the years, our attorneys have successfully represented clients who have suffered serious personal injuries or lost loved ones in tragic accidents. We work with such clients on a daily basis. Our clients have suffered losses and injuries ranging from soft tissue injuries, which are quite painful, broken bones, traumatic brain injuries, and wrongful death of family members.
Our goal is to help our clients receive a favorable and fair outcome in relation to their injuries. Often, clients are not sure how to get started with their personal injury claims. Insurance issues, medical bills, liens, and reports are complex, especially with changes to Medicare, Medicaid, Medi-Cal, ERISA, and the advent of Obamacare. Coming to an experienced personal injury attorney for help is one of the first important steps in the injury recovery and compensation process. We have extensive experience when it comes to negotiating with insurance companies and their defense attorneys, and medical providers. We are litigators who will aggressively represent our clients at trial when a fair settlement cannot be reached outside of court. We charge no fee for injury consultations. If you are the rare client, who is better off handling the claim yourself, we will tell you so.
For experienced legal representation, please contact Sullivan Law online or call (775) 782-6915, to schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case. If needed, and you cannot transport yourself, we offer in-home visits or can meet where you are for your convenience.
Potential Damages in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Cases
Our clients often wonder about what kinds of damages they can recover in settlement or at trial. No attorney can guarantee the value of any recovery, but the following is a guide to the types of damages possible, depending on the facts of your case.
Compensatory, or actual, damages seek to compensate you for losses related to injury or death. There are no limits placed on the amount of compensatory damages you can recover, since the purpose of these damages is to make you whole for your losses. There are two types of compensatory damages: non-economic and economic damages:
Also known as general damages, these damages cover those losses that an exact dollar amount cannot quantify. If awarded, after a trial, the amount is based on what the jury finds reasonable. In a settlement, it is the insurance adjuster who must be convinced of the reasonableness. Non-economic damages may include:
Physical and mental pain and suffering: this covers pain, inconvenience, emotional distress, injury to reputation, humiliation, and loss of enjoyment of life (hedonic damages).
Emotional distress: A person suffers emotional distress if an ordinary person would not be able to handle the distress, including shock, anguish, fright, horror, nervousness, and grief.
Loss of consortium: This compensates the spouse of an injured or deceased person for the loss of companionship and other damages suffered as a result of their loved one’s injury. These claims are often included as part of the primary injury claim since they are harder to prove and quantify and involve sensitive areas of inquiry.
Also known as special damages, these damages cover losses that an exact dollar amount can quantify. Actual or objectively anticipated losses can be allowed, and expert reports or testimony may be needed to prove these losses. Economic damages include:
- Current medical bills
- Expected Future medical expenses
- Lost Earnings, i.e., missed work
- Loss of future earning capacity, often related to job loss flowing from the injuries
- Property damage, for example, the cost of repairing or replacing your vehicle
Punitive damages are designed to punish the defendant for intentional or reckless acts which resulted in the plaintiff’s injuries. The award of punitive damages is rare, particularly in the personal injury setting. Punitive damages are most likely to be recovered when the at-fault driver was under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
However, punitive damages are not covered under typical auto insurance policies, so settlements do not include them in the auto accident setting, as a rule.
Wrongful Death Damages
If you lose a loved one in a wrongful death case, it is a tragedy for all involved. However, you may be able to recover for:
Loss of care comfort, companionship, affection, society, solace or moral support, loss of enjoyment of sexual relations, and any loss of physical assistance in the operation or maintenance of the home.
Funeral expenses; and
Future financial contributions of the deceased, paid at their present day value. Often, an estate needs to be opened, and the estate may be able to recover punitive damages in the right case.
We Will Do Battle for You!
Sullivan Law draws on decades of experience in handling personal injury and wrongful death claims of all kinds. If needed, we will file your case in court. If possible, we will settle your case ASAP, for the best possible value, because lawsuits are stressful and expensive, with an uncertain outcome. We have found that it is always better to settle, but sometimes you have to go to court to force the insurance company to be reasonable. We try to respond to all client and potential client calls within 24 hours. Please call with any questions, we are here to serve you!