What sorts of damages are covered under personal injury law?

In a civil case, there are typically three types of compensatory damages:

  1. medical expenses;
  2. lost wages and loss of future earning capacity; and
  3. pain and suffering.

Medical bills and lost wages are referred to as “special damages”-meaning they can be quantified. “Pain and suffering” is an element of damages that is purely in the hands of the jury. It means how a reasonable jury would quantify the physical pain and mental anguish suffered as a result of the accident.  Punitive damages may be awarded in certain circumstances if the conduct of the defendant is egregious enough to warrant them.