When a person is injured by another, the law provides a means of seeking compensation, known as damages, for those injuries and the detrimental effects they have caused in the victim’s life.
In a case of personal injury, a judge or jury may find the defendant liable for several types of damages for varying amounts of money. For example, medical bills, lost earnings, or property damage may be part of the damages picture. The plaintiff may also experience significant and continuous pain and suffering due to his or her injury. All of these factors are considered worthy of recompense under personal injury law, which seeks as much as possible to return the victim to the state of living he or she enjoyed prior to the injury.
In most personal injury cases, the victim must have suffered some sort of physical, mental, or financial harm to have a strong claim for damages. In some intentional tort cases, however, such as assault and battery, proving the misconduct of the defendant alone may be enough to find in favor of the plaintiff. The types of damages that can be awarded are compensatory, punitive, or nominal depending on the merits of the case.