ND Attorney Guide to Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case - Sand Law North Dakota
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ND Attorney Guide to Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case

4th March 2024

North Dakota Attorney Guide to Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case - Sand Law PLLC

Injured because of someone else’s negligence? You may be entitled to compensation for your damages.

If you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you may be able to claim damages associated with your injuries. Negligence can come in many forms, such as someone forgetting to wipe up a spill that causes you to slip and fall or someone texting while driving.

No matter how you’re injured, Sand Law is here to make sure you get the compensation you deserve for your personal injury claim.

Common Personal Injury Incidents

A personal injury accident occurs when one person acts with negligence, causing injury to another person. Types of personal injury accidents include:

Car accidents are among the most common types of personal injury cases, with approximately 38,000 car accident-related fatalities occurring each year. Most motor vehicle accidents occur because of distracted driving, drunk driving, speeding, aggressive driving, or fatigued driving. Injuries can vary from minor to severe, with severe injuries having a great impact on the victim’s life.

Slip and fall accidents are also common, accounting for over eight million emergency room visits each year. Slip and fall accidents may occur when a property owner doesn’t keep their building maintained. Common hazards include:

  • Loose floorboards
  • Poor lighting
  • Spills and messes
  • Uncleared snow or ice
  • And more

The North Dakota personal injury attorneys at Sand Law represent all kinds of personal injury cases. We have years of experience working on different cases and will help ensure that you get the compensation you deserve, no matter the type of accident you experienced.

Statutes of Limitations for Personal Injury Claims

In North Dakota, personal injury law states that you must file your claim within six years of the incident, or you will no longer be able to pursue compensation for your damages. Wrongful death claims must be filed within two years of the date of the accident, and medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years (or, in some circumstances, six years).

Speak with an attorney as soon as possible after the accident to ensure you don’t miss your opportunity to file. If a few years have gone by and you’re interested in filing a lawsuit, you should still contact an attorney to discuss your options.

What Damages can you Claim in a Personal Injury Case?

If you’ve been injured in a personal injury accident, you may be inundated with bills, lost wages, and a complete change to your quality of life. You may have to adapt to a new way of life, one that accommodates your injuries.

Adapting to a new lifestyle caused by a personal injury accident can be difficult for both your mental and physical health. Receiving compensation for your damages isn’t the solution, but it can help get you back on your feet. You can receive compensation for the following types of damages.

Economic Damages

Economic damages or special damages cover any monetary losses you may have experienced, including but not limited to:

  • Hospital bills
  • Ambulance rides
  • Emergency room visits
  • Specialist visits
  • Doctors’ visits
  • Surgery costs
  • Prescriptions
  • Future medical costs
  • Past and future lost wages

Non-Economic Damages

General damages or non-economic damages cover losses that don’t have a monetary value associated with them. Non-economic damages are calculated by looking at how much your life has changed because of the accident and injuries.

Were you forced to renovate your house to make it more accessible to you? Did you lose the ability to walk or take care of yourself? Have all your appointments put a large amount of stress on your plate? These are all questions that go into the calculation of non-economic damages.

Non-economic damages cover the following:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Loss of consortium
  • Emotional anguish or humiliation
  • Loss of enjoyment

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are rare but may be awarded to the plaintiff to punish the defendant further. If the defendant acted with gross negligence, you might be awarded further compensation. Punitive damages are used to prevent the defendant or a similar party from committing the same act again in the future.

For example, if the accident occurred because a trucking company was over-scheduling one of their employees past legal limits, this may be the cause of the truck driver’s exhaustion. In this case, you may be awarded punitive damages to dissuade the trucking company from continuing to commit this act of negligence in the future.

Wrongful Death Damages

In the unfortunate circumstance that someone you love has passed away due to a personal injury accident, you may be able to file a wrongful death claim against the negligent party. Direct family members, such as a guardian, spouse, or child, may file a wrongful death case.

Wrongful death damages may be claimed on behalf of the deceased and yourself. For example, you can claim pain and suffering damages for yourself and the deceased, as you both experienced pain and suffering because of the events that followed the accident.

Wrongful death damages include:

  • Economic and non-economic damages on behalf of you and the deceased as applicable
  • Funeral and burial costs
  • Loss of companion or caregiver

What to do After You’ve Sustained an Injury Due to Someone Else’s Negligence?

There are a few key steps you should take after you’ve been injured in a personal injury accident. First and foremost, you should seek emergency medical attention if you require it. If not, you should stick around at the scene of the accident to gather more information. You should take pictures, record a statement for your own records, and speak to any witnesses.

After gathering evidence, you should go to the hospital or emergency room for medical attention. Even if you don’t believe that you’re injured, you should still seek medical attention. Some injuries, such as internal bleeding or organ damage, may not be visible right away. If you don’t seek medical attention immediately, your injuries may worsen.

Before speaking to an insurance company, you should contact an attorney. Speaking with an attorney first can prevent damage to your lawsuit. Insurance companies will try to get you to sign away your rights or give them a statement in exchange for quick cash. An experienced attorney will get you a much higher settlement, so it’s important to speak with them first.

Who is Liable for Your Injuries?

Determining liability is a multi-step process. You must be able to prove that someone acted with negligence and therefore caused the accident and your subsequent injuries.

First, you must establish a duty of care. Duty of care is applicable in every situation. It’s the duty that we all owe to each, to keep each other safe within reason. For example, while driving, it’s your duty to keep other drivers safe. This means following safety laws and not putting others in danger with your actions.

After establishing the existence of a duty of care, you must prove that there was a breach of duty. This means that the liable party breached their duty by texting while driving or driving under the influence. You must be able to prove that this breach exists with evidence.

Then you must prove causation. Or that the breach of duty directly caused your injuries. This is easy because if you can prove the breach, it’s usually pretty simple to link the injuries to the breach.

And finally, you must have damages that are directly related to the accident. Without damages, you cannot file a lawsuit.

In short, the liable party is the one who caused the accident. Therefore, they caused your injury to occur. In a slip and fall accident, it could be the manager who didn’t have a mess cleaned up or a landlord who didn’t fix a broken staircase.

Contact a North Dakota Personal Injury Attorney to Get You the Compensation You Deserve

If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident, you’ll need an experienced North Dakota personal injury attorney by your side to help you through the process. Our team of experienced personal injury attorneys is ready to help you get the compensation you deserve for your accident.

We have years of experience practicing personal injury law and can answer any questions you may have about the process. For more information or a free case evaluation, please contact us online or call us at 701-609-1510.