Economic Recovery for Accidents and Injuries -P2

Lost wages. These damages represent the amount of money a plaintiff would have earned -- from the time of the injury to the date of settlement or judgment. An unemployed person may be permitted to recover lost wages if he or she can prove what could have been earned during the same period.
Medical expenses. Bills and expenses for medical services such as doctors, hospital stays, emergency room treatment, ambulance fees, and nursing services. A plaintiff must show that the expenses are related to medical conditions resulting from his or her injury. The total amount of medical expenses is sometimes used as a rough guide to decide whether the overall award of damages is reasonable. Note that the cost of a medical examination for purposes of litigation is not ordinarily recoverable as a medical expense.
Medical surveillance. The cost of monitoring plaintiff's medical condition after the plaintiff was exposed to a hazardous substance, so that any illness or injury might be detected early.
Mental anguish. Any mental suffering or emotional distress associated with an accident or injury, including fright, terror, apprehension, nervousness, anxiety, worry, humiliation, mortification, feeling of lost dignity, embarrassment, grief, and shock.
Pain and suffering. An award for past and future physical pain in connection with an accident or injury. To place a monetary value on pain and suffering, the jury considers the nature of the injury, the certainty of future pain, its severity, and how long the plaintiff is likely to be in pain. Some states allow the jury to assume that if a bodily injury has occurred there has been some pain and suffering, and some require that the plaintiff be conscious for some time period during the injury.
Permanent disability. These damages are best proved by medical testimony, and ordinarily a doctor must examine a plaintiff claiming permanent disability. Some courts have held that permanent disability damages can include not only disabilities that are objectively determined, but also disabilities that the plaintiff subjectively perceives.
Present cash value. The current value of projected future earnings; the amount that, if invested wisely, will over time produce the amount the plaintiff would have earned had he or she not been injured.
Special damages. This is a general category of damages that covers all monetary losses, including medical expenses after an accident or injury. Recovery requires detailed proof that the losses were sustained, and a showing of how much money was involved.