The successful plaintiff of an Indiana personal injury lawsuit is entitled to damages in a sum that reasonably compensates the plaintiff for bodily injuries, pain and suffering, any past, present, or future expenses reasonably necessary in the course of the plaintiff’s medical treatment, and all financial losses suffered, or to be suffered, as a result of the injury. A personal injury plaintiff may typically recover damages for:
- Temporary or permanent injuries
In determining damages, the nature and extent of the plaintiff’s injuries, as well as the effect of the injuries on the plaintiff’s ability to function, are considered by the court or jury.
- Past or future pain and suffering
The damages recoverable for physical pain and mental suffering resulting from the defendant’s actions are variable and depend upon specific facts of each case.
- Loss of earnings/time and loss or impairment of earning capacity
The basic measure of damages for impairment of lost earning capacity is the difference between the amount which the plaintiff was capable of earning before the injury and the amount which he/she was capable of earning thereafter.
The value of time includes the plaintiff’s loss of time and decreased earning capacity. Loss of earnings may be considered in determining a plaintiff’s loss of time.
- Reasonable and necessary medical expenses
Plaintiffs may recover the reasonable cost of past, present, and future necessary medical care, treatment, and services as a result of their injuries.
Plaintiffs may recover damages for the aggravation or exacerbation of a pre-existing physical condition or injury to the extent that the defendant’s tortious conduct resulted in the aggravation or exacerbation.
- Disfigurements or deformities
- Loss of services, society, and companionship/consortium
- Damages to real property
Permanent real property injury occurs when the cost of restoring the property to its condition prior to the injury is greater than the fair market value of the real property prior to the injury. A plaintiff with permanent injury to real property can only recover the difference between the fair market value of the property before and after the injury. In contrast, a plaintiff with a temporary injury to real property can recover the cost of restoring the property to its pre-injury condition.