Personal Injury Damages: What Losses Can I Recover?

This video features Wayne D. Parsons, a Medical Malpractice attorney based in Hawaii.

Honolulu Injury Lawyer Explains Economic, Non Economic Damages

Video Transcript:

Wayne Parsons: 

Whatever the economic losses were, the general damages, the pain and suffering, intangible losses were at least equal to and probably greater.

Tom Mustin: 

What damages are recovered after an injury? We ask Hawaii attorney, Wayne Parsons in this episode of Ask The Lawyer. What types of losses can someone recover?

Wayne Parsons: 

The answer, the short answer to that question is, a person can recover all of their losses. There are many, many, many different kinds of losses people suffer when they're hurt. Obviously, if they lose time from work, that's pretty easy, you get receipts for that, we call that type of loss, economic damages. Economic damages are damages, are losses that we can put a dollar figure on and we can bring in documents to prove, we can bring in a pay stub, we can bring in income tax returns, we can bring in things to show what this person was making. And then we can show that they lost those amounts. That's past and future, and for the future losses, it's really important as to what type of medical care the person is gonna need for the rest of their life, we can recover money for those kinds of losses and we try to protect our clients by getting good experts who are experienced at predicting what's gonna happen in the future to give us those answers. The other types of losses are really the most important types of losses, and that's for... Lawyers refer to it as general damages, damages are simply money that we're gonna ask for in the case. General damages include not only pain and suffering, everybody talks about pain and suffering, that's one, those are two areas of loss, pain and suffering.

It also includes disfigurement, it also includes interference with family relationships, dad can't be dad anymore, mom can't be mom, if she was the one who was hurt. It's... All of those intangibles. The one thing about economic damages is we can prove them with paper, we can prove them with documents, we can prove them with records, we can prove them with credit card statements or cancelled checks. General damages are not subject to proof by anything, by a test, you can't do a test to see how much pain are you in, there's no machine that measures pain. Suffering, you're miserable, you can't go to work, you're worried about your house being repossessed, you're worried about your future health or the health of your child. Those are the most important types of damages that we suffer when we are hurt, and they are not subject to a test. I always give this example that nobody walks up to you if they've... If you were in a car crash and people heard that you were in the hospital and that you had a surgery, and you're now back home and they bump into you and they say, "How are you doing? I heard you were in an accident. How are you doing?

The person doesn't say, Well, my medical bills are $45,000, I lost $26,000 so far from work. What they say is, my back is killing me, I had this, I have a rod in my leg that is just driving me crazy. I can't do this, I can't do that. They talk about their pain and their suffering and the interference of this with their normal life, those are very important damages, and I think in a jury trial, we always remind the jury that whatever the economic losses where the general damages, the pain and suffering, the intangible losses were at least equal to and probably greater in the amount.

Tom Mustin: 

Well, we always appreciate your expertise, Wayne. Thank you so much for joining us again today.

Wayne Parsons: 

Good to be here. Have a great day. Aloha.

Tom Mustin: 

Alright, Aloha Wayne. And that's gonna do it for this episode of Ask the lawyer. My guest has been Wayne Parsons. If you wanna ask Wayne any questions about your situation, call the number on the screen there. Thanks for watching. I'm Tom Mustin for Ask The Lawyers.

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