In earlier blog posts, we discussed the standard of care in a personal injury lawsuit based on negligence, and we looked at the causation requirement. Even if you meet both of those tests, you still won’t be able to recover financial compensation unless you can show that you suffered actual losses. That may seem redundant or obvious—if someone causes you to suffer personal injury or property damage, there’s always loss, right? Not necessarily.
What Qualifies as an “Actual Loss”?
The courts typically ask a number of questions to assess whether you suffered compensable losses:
- Did you have any unreimbursed medical expenses? You can’t recover twice for the same injury…if your health insurance or motor vehicle insurance policy covered your medical expenses, you can’t ask the defendant to pay them. If you do, the insurer may ask for the return of any reimbursements or paid medical expenses.
- Did you lose any income, wages or other compensation? If you didn’t, you don’t have a claim for lost wages. If you received some form of compensation through a short term disability policy, you may still be entitled to lost wages, as those policies typically only pay a portion of your lost income.
- Did you experience any ongoing pain or physical discomfort because of the accident? You are entitled to damages for pain and suffering, particularly if the pain prevented you from engaging in activities that would have been a normal part of your life.
- Did you suffer any loss of companionship or consortium (intimate relations with a spouse or partner) because of injuries suffered?
- Was there any damage to your property that diminished the value of the property?
Contact Our Office
At Barnard, Mezzanotte, Pinnie & Seelaus, we have protected the rights of individuals throughout Delaware County since 1980. We offer a free initial consultation. To schedule an appointment, call us at 610-565-4055 or contact us online.