People who are injured in any kind of accident may wonder whether they should pursue a lawsuit against the responsible party. One of the biggest questions on the mind of an injured person is how much compensation they could expect to receive from a personal injury claim. There are several factors that go into the calculation of such an award. A personal injury attorney can help explain these categories to a client in detail. Anyone who has been injured in a traffic related accident should contact a car accident lawyer to protect their rights. Victims of workplace accidents need to contact an industrial accident lawyer for help with their personal injury claim because their employer will have a legal team to protect their own interests. Compensatory Damages Compensatory damages are awarded in order to compensate an injured person for the losses that they suffered as a result of an accident. These are based on the monetary losses that are directly tied to an injury and are intended to match these losses dollar for dollar. Many of the categories of loss that fall under the umbrella of compensatory damages are easy to calculate, but there are more objective categories related to the emotional damage suffered by a victim that can be hard to quantify. It is generally easy to calculate how much a victim is owed in relation to medical bills. Expenses tied to initial medical attention and ongoing medical treatment will be reimbursed. Income losses are also straightforward. However, income calculations may get more complicated if an injured person is unable to perform their job duties in the future because of an injury. The difference between the salary that the person could have made and the salary that they make in a new position may need to be used as the base for this calculation. Compensation for property loss may be awarded if repairs are needed for a vehicle or any other personal property. Monetary compensation for pain and suffering can be difficult to calculate because it is related to the stress suffered by a victim as a result of the accident. People who suffer from sleep loss, anxiety or other psychological afflictions may be entitled to compensation for emotional distress. Serious injuries that have lasting effects can cause a person to be unable to participate in activities that were once a source of joy. Loss of enjoyment damages may be awarded in this case. The final category of compensatory damages is loss of consortium. These damages relate to losses suffered by close relatives of the injured person. For example, a spouse may experience a loss of quality of life if they are no longer able to enjoy sexual intimacy with their partner because their partner has been injured. Punitive Damages Punitive damages may be awarded if the responsible party acted particularly negligent. These damages are not intended to compensate the victim for their actual losses, but injured parties are given monetary awards in the form of punitive damages if the court would like to punish the responsible party for being careless in a way that resulted in the injury of another person. There may be maximum limits for the amount of money that a judge can award the injured person in the form of punitive damages. Adjustments Based on the Plaintiff’s Involvement in an Accident Accidents are not always completely the fault of the responsible party. The injured person may also have been at fault, and total compensation from a personal injury claim will be reduced based on the involvement of the victim. Comparative negligence reduces the total award based on how much the victim was at fault. Some states use contributory negligence as a basis for whether or not a person should receive any compensation at all. A victim living in such a state would not be entitled to compensation if they are found to have contributed to the situation that caused the accident. Victims are expected to keep their losses minimal whenever possible. For example, a victim who fails to seek medical treatment and develops a more serious condition as a result may have their award reduced because of a failure to mitigate losses.