The Types of Available Damages in California Injury Claims

When an individual files a California personal injury claim, one of the most important issues is understanding which types of financial compensation the individual may able to recover, which can vary depending on the type of claim. One type of damages award an individual may be able to recover is called “compensatory” damages.

The purpose of compensatory damages is to justly compensate the plaintiff for the loss or injury sustained, and to restore the plaintiff to his or her previous position, insofar as it is possible. Compensatory damages can include any financial compensation for “loss” or “detriment.” A plaintiff must prove that the damages were caused by the defendant’s actions and show the extent of the harm caused. Even if a plaintiff is determined to be entitled to compensatory damages, a plaintiff still has a responsibility to mitigate his or her damages to the extent possible. That means that a plaintiff will not be compensated for damages that the plaintiff could have avoided through reasonable effort or expenditure.

Another type of damages is called “exemplary” or “punitive” damages. According to California law, punitive damages are meant to punish the defendant and to set an example for others. In California, a plaintiff can only recover punitive damages in a tort claim and only if the plaintiff suffers an actual injury. To recover punitive damages, a plaintiff must prove “by clear and convincing evidence” that the defendant is guilty of “oppression, fraud or malice.” The idea is that in those cases, since the defendants’ actions were so reprehensible, those defendants should be punished, and others may be deterred from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

At Least Five Killed in Accident on 10 Freeway

A crash on a recent Friday afternoon resulted in the death of at least five people, according to one news report. A big rig was traveling westbound on Interstate 10 when it veered toward the median and crashed through the guard rail. The big rig, which was apparently a concrete-pump truck, then burst into flames and continued to travel across the eastbound lanes, hitting multiple vehicles.

Several of the vehicles caught fire, and at least five people were killed. Both directions of the 10 were closed for hours. The driver of the big rig was taken to the hospital and interviewed by law enforcement. One police officer said that it was probably the most horrific accident he had seen in 10 years.

Contact a Los Angeles Personal Injury Lawyer

If you have been injured, contact an injury attorney to see if you may be entitled to damages. At Sharifi Firm, our injury attorneys provide dedicated representation to Los Angeles residents who have been harmed due to the negligence of others, such as in truck accidents. If you’ve been injured, it is important to get help from an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who knows how to negotiate with defendants and their insurance companies, and how to take a case to trial if it becomes necessary. We handle California motor vehicle collisions, slip-and-fall accidents, and wrongful death cases, among others. Contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation at 1-866-422-7222 or via our online form.

More Blog Posts:

How Do Courts Apportion Liability in California Personal Injury Cases Involving Multiple At-Fault Parties?, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, February 5, 2018

California Court Awards Additional Costs After Party Rejects Settlement and Loses at Trial, Southern California Injury Lawyer Blog, February 19, 2018

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