If you are considering filing a lawsuit based on an injury sustained in Hawaii, you may wonder what you can realistically hope to recover. This amount depends on specific factors, and the calculations tend to differ in every case. However, you can get some insight by understanding the general outlines of how damages calculations work.
In most personal injury cases, a successful plaintiff can recover compensatory damages. This means the jury finds a particular amount that fairly compensates the plaintiff for his or her losses resulting from the injury.
Within this category, damages fall into two categories: economic and noneconomic. Economic damages tend to be easier to figure out, as they refer to financial losses. These damages include expenses you incur due to the injury, such as medical costs, lost earnings and purchases of goods or services triggered by your injury. Economic damages also include future losses you will continue to sustain. You can substantiate such claims by presenting expert reports and testimony to demonstrate your projected state of health, level of disability and its effect on your spending and earning.
Pain and suffering
Of course, the suffering accidents cause is not just financial; injuries can lead to high levels of physical and emotional pain. Additionally, they often necessitate treatments, such as surgery and therapy, that also cause pain, discomfort and embarrassment. The consequences of a serious injury can last for a long time and continue to affect a person's relationships with loved ones and her or his general wellbeing. The law recognizes this, and, therefore, allows the recovery of damages for this type of harm as well.
In some rare cases, a plaintiff can also receive punitive damages based on the defendant's conduct rather than on how much harm such conduct caused. Courts generally only grant punitive damages when the defendant's conduct was extremely reckless or malicious - a standard that substantially exceeds negligence.