Recovering legal damages for my injury or loss
What monetary compensation am I entitled to in my case? Can I recover legal damages for pain and suffering?
Accident and Injury Damages
Before any damages can be recovered, there is a threshold issue of liability: the defendant must have caused the harm or loss through the defendant’s negligent, intentional, or wrongful conduct. If the evidence supports a finding of liability, there are two types of possible damages: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages refers to monetary losses that can be objectively verified, such as:
- Medical costs: expenses incurred in receiving treatment for the injury including doctors, prescriptions, assistive devices, travel to receive care, and related medical necessities. If the injury caused death, the family of the decedent may also be able to recover funeral costs.
- Wage loss: earnings from your job that you lost due to missing work as a result of the injury. Related to this may be a claim for loss of business or employment opportunities.
- Property damage: loss of use of property, or the costs of repair or replacement. Example: a roadway accident that damages or destroys your vehicle.
Non-economic damages refers to losses of a subjective, non-monetary nature:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of society and companionship, and loss of consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life activities
Of course, the types of damages available for recovery in any given case, and the amount of money recoverable, will depend on the facts of the particular case, and may vary from case to case. In addition, in some states including Idaho, the law places an artificial limit on the amount of non-economic damages that can be recovered.
Seiniger Law handles injury cases, workers’ compensation cases, and some other types on a contingency-fee basis. That means that we get paid for our legal services as a percentage of the amount of damages we actually recover for you. If we recover nothing, you owe us nothing for our efforts.
Workers’ Compensation Damages
In Idaho, the types of compensation available to a worker injured on the job are set by statute:
- Medical costs: expenses incurred in receiving treatment for the injury including doctors, prescriptions, assistive devices, travel to receive care, and related medical necessities. If the injury caused death, the family of the decedent may also be able to recover some funeral/burial costs.
- Temporary wage loss: earnings from your job that you lose while your doctor orders you off work (or restricted to light-duty work) while you are recovering from your injury. The law contains a formula that restricts this amount to within certain maximum and minimum limits
- Permanent impairment: after your doctor declares you medically stable, you are entitled to be compensated for any medical or anatomical impairment that your doctor finds is a permanent result of your injury.
- Disability beyond impairment: you may be entitled to additional compensation if you have permanent work restrictions and impairment that reduces your wage-earning capacity or limits your access to the job market. In some cases this may include vocational retraining.
In work comp cases, Idaho law does not allow damages for pain and suffering. Again, the types of damages available for recovery in any given case, and the amount of money recoverable, will depend on the facts of the particular case, and may vary from case to case.
Legal Damages in Other Cases
For non-injury cases, such as sexual harassment, wrongful discharge, contract matters, etc., the measure of damages depends on the specific facts of the case, applicable law, and the nature and amount of loss you incur. The remedy may include monetary damages or non-monetary remedies, e.g. specific performance of a contractual obligation.
We are always happy to answer any questions. Please feel free to call our attorneys at (208) 345-1000.