Some clients tell me they want revenge. Other clients express concern that they will be viewed by others as seeking revenge. A negligence claim or lawsuit is not about revenge.
Revenge is the wrong reason to pursue legal action. In fact, our justice system has no damage category called "Sweet Revenge."
If you are hurt because of another person's negligence then you deserve to be compensated for your losses. Our courts are not designed to extract revenge but to attempt to make right a wrong through what are called "remedies." The way injury victims are compensated is by an award of money which a jury calculates to fairly reimburse the victim for damages. Those damages come in the way of "special damages," "general damages" and sometimes "punitive damages."
"Special damages" are those for which a receipt, pay stub or other document or testimony can be presented as evidence of the damages. The most common of these are medical bills (including future medical expenses) and past, present and future lost wages but they also include the cost of hiring help to clean, mow, do repairs around the house, a driver, home healthcare and other expenses incurred because of one's injuries.
"General Damages" are less concrete but a very important part of an injury claim. They are to compensate for pain, suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement and other damages that can be proven even if one cannot put a dollar amount on the value of such losses. At trial, lawyers present evidence of such losses and ultimately turn the question of value over to the jury to decide the worth.
A third category of damages is "punitive damages." With punitive damages the court is punishing the tortfeasor (wrongdoer) for his actions. A further discussion of punitive damages is for another day because they are limited to certain cases where the bad actor knew, should have known or intended that his actions would do harm to a specific person.
Notice there is no "Sweet Revenge" category in our courts. There is not an extra 1 pound weight that one gets to put on the scale of justice to extract revenge.
My firm helps injured people recover compensation for the damages they suffer at the hands of others. We don't trade an eye for an eye or break the wrongdoer's knees but we do pursue your claim aggressively, professionally and with respect for all parties involved.
(904) 422-4323 in FL
(404) 421-4233 in GA
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Attorney Erik Rosskopf
An active member of the Florida and Georgia bar associations, he practices in Jacksonville Florida handling cases throughout North Florida and Georgia.