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Damages Recoverable in a Tort Case

I’m David Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss personal injury law topics.

Today’s question comes from a caller with questions about the nature and extent of damages that can be recovered in a lawsuit when personal injuries have been suffered.

The burden of proving damages rests with a plaintiff in a trial. The plaintiff must prove damages by a greater weight of the evidence.

But mathematical precision is not required. A plaintiff need not prove an exact sum for damages.

A plaintiff need only furnish evidence of sufficient facts and circumstances to permit an intelligent and probable determination of the harm suffered by the plaintiff.

The jury is left to award a sum that can reasonably be inferred to reflect, roughly, compensation for the wrong suffered.

A jury is prohibited from engaging in guesswork. But, where the evidence shows damages caused by the defendant, then it is up to the jury to decide what is fair and reasonable.

Suppose a plaintiff suffers a broken arm as a result of a defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff’s pain and suffering would be compensable. Medical expenses would be another form of damages suffered. If the plaintiff was unable to work for several months, lost income due to the injury would be recoverable at trial.  Mental pain and suffering, including fright, anxiety, emotional trauma, and other forms of mental anguish, may be compensable as well.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you are a victim of someone’s carelessness, substandard medical care, a product defect, work injury, or another personal injury, please call (219) 736-9700 with your questions. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there, make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth.”