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What Types of Damages Can You Recover in a Personal Injury Case?

When you're hurt because of the actions of others, you might assume that the only thing you can recover for is your medical bills. You might conclude that bringing a personal injury claim is more trouble than it's worth. However, you may be surprised to learn that medical bills are only the beginning. There are many different types of damages that you can recover for in a personal injury case:

Medical Bills

Even though they're only one type of damages that you can recover for after a personal injury, there are many different types of medical bills that you can receive compensation for. You're not limited to recovery for just emergency care or primary care visits. Instead, you can recover for things like physical therapy and mobility aids. If you need mental health treatment because of the injury, you can demand compensation for that too.

Lost Wages

If your injury is even a little bit serious, you're going to miss some work. You can ask the responsible party to compensate you for what you would have made if you had been able to continue to work. In addition, if you're unable to perform your usual work around the house like mowing the grass or driving your kids to soccer practice, you can ask for compensation in order to hire a replacement.

Pain and Suffering

When you get hurt, it hurts. In addition to out of pocket financial losses, Nevada law wants to compensate you for what you've gone through. This means placing a value on your pain and suffering. Your physical pain is a very real loss, and Nevada law aims to value it and pay you accordingly.

Emotional Distress

The emotional devastation that follows a personal injury can be just as severe as the physical pain. A personal injury can take an emotional toll on you in the short term and even for the rest of your life. An experienced Las Vegas personal injury lawyer can help you document and value these damages.

Loss of Consortium

Consortium means relationship. When your spouse gets hurt in a crash, their injuries and damages can impact your marriage. That's called a loss of consortium. Even if you're not the victim with direct, physical injuries, you may be a victim of loss of consortium. There are a few technical details that go along with bringing a claim for loss of consortium, and it's a type of damages available to only a spouse of the injured person. Your attorney can help you sort it out.


When an injury occurs because of someone else's fraud, malice or intentional act, punitive damages may be an option. Punitive damages exist in order to punish people who act with fraud or malice. The hope is to prevent the person or corporation responsible for doing bad things in the future. Punitive damages also exist in order to deter other people and corporations from choosing to act in a fraudulent or malicious way.

Damage Caps

Non-economic Damages

There are some limitations on certain types of damages in Nevada law. For example, in medical malpractice cases, there's a limit on non-economic damages. These damages are for things like pain and suffering and emotional anguish. The cap is $350,000. This is in addition to economic damages for things like medical bills and lost wages that are unlimited. In personal injury cases that are not medical malpractice, there's no limit on non-economic damages.

Punitive Damages

Nevada law imposes caps on punitive damages in some cases. Generally, the cap is $300,000 if the compensatory damages are less than $100,000. If compensatory damages are equal to or more than $100,000, punitive damages can be no more than three times the compensatory damages. There are some cases where there's no punitive damages cap. This is the case for defective product cases, cases where an insurance company acts in bad faith and cases involving toxic waste. There's also no cap on punitive damages where an individual purposefully consumes alcohol or drugs and then causes an alcohol or drug-related accident.

What Are Damages For?

The goal of damages in a personal injury case is to put the victim in the same position financially as they might have been if the injury hadn't occurred. Of course, no amount of monetary compensation can heal you physically. Financial compensation is the best that the justice system can do. Even so, Nevada personal injury laws are a powerful and an important way that victims can get their lives back on track and take care of their loved ones.

Tips for Success

The first step to collecting each type of damages is to demand each type in your initial pleadings. The initial pleadings have to include each claim and a statement of your demands. If you make errors in your pleadings, it can impact the rest of the case. After you've perfected your pleadings, you need to gather evidence for each type of damages. This may require going for medical evaluations. It may mean tediously documenting your medical treatment. You may need to work with financial experts to value each type of claim. It's important to prepare each piece of evidence with an eye toward how you're going to present the case to a jury.

How an Attorney Can Help

A Nevada personal injury attorney knows the Nevada Rules of Civil Procedure and the Nevada Rules of Evidence. That means they know the hundreds of rules that you need to follow in order to prepare your claim and present it to the jury. They can help you capitalize on your potential claim, and they can also help you do it all in the smoothest and most effective way possible. Your attorney can help you make sure that you get top dollar for your claim, and they can lead the effort while you focus on your recovery.

Hire A Personal Injury Attorney

Bernstein & Poisson is committed to helping you through this difficult and stressful time. Since 1983, we have been working hard to protecting the rights of Las Vegas residents. We don’t get paid unless we win your case. Contact us today by calling (702) 602-8869 or fill out our contact form for a FREE, no-obligation review of your case.