If a person hurts himself, there are a lot of emotions that can gather. Other than the anger and depression that can come with physical pain or limited mobility, someone may also feel shame at slowing himself down with an accident. These emotions can get more complicated when another person is involved.

When a person hurts someone else, even in an accident, he or she may be liable for financial damages if the victim of pain or injury files a lawsuit in civil court. These lawsuits may result in a verdict from a jury that decides the value of a person’s claim or often results in an out-of-court settlement that causes the victim to drop the suit.

There are two kinds of financial damages in a personal injury lawsuit. Economic damages cover the actual losses a person experiences from an injury, like costs for medical treatment and physical rehabilitation. Noneconomic damages are designed to compensate people for the pain, emotional distress and other drawbacks of an injury or illness that is difficult to quantify.

The amounts of compensation are often decided with medical testimony to demonstrate the unquantifiable aspects of pain and recovery. Judges may also take into account the general health of the victim of an injury and the relative effect that an injury had on the person.

Victims of accidents caused by other people have the right to seek these damages in civil court or pretrial settlements. An attorney can help victims and their families work out the best way to seek financial help after an unexpected trauma.