Damages when someone's wrongful act causes injury to you or your loved ones, it is important to know what kind of damages you're entitled to so that you can evaluate what your case might be worth and whether it is even worth hiring a lawyer. After all, litigation can be extremely expensive, so if the injury is a minor one, other routes—such as negotiating directly with the insurance company or taking your grievance to a small claims court—might be a more appropriate route. However, if you feel that your injury is substantial enough, it's good to know what you might be entitled to so that you can keep track of certain documents and other items that will be helpful for your lawyer in proving your claim.. The American legal system is designed to try and put an injured party into the same—but not better—position that he was in before the injury occurred. Think of it as a refund: when you take an item back, the store will usually replace the faulty item you received with a similar one or give you back the money you paid for it, but they usually won't replace it with a superior item or give you back more money than what you spent on it in the first place. Obviously, there are some injuries you can never put a price tag on; where no amount of money will put you back to where you were before the accident, and in these cases you are entitled to a “fair and reasonable” amount to compensate you for this permanent injury or loss. First, you will almost always be compensated for the physical and property damage that has been caused. For example, if someone negligently crashes into your car, you will be entitled compensation for the damage that has been done to your car and the medical bills you've had to pay for any bodily injury you suffered as a result of the incident. Additionally, you will be entitled to any future expenses that you will be required to pay as a result of the incident, and this can include a lot more than future medical bills. For example, a victim who is paralyzed in a car accident due to misconduct of another will not only be compensated for the future medical care they will need, but will be compensated for future activities that they will no longer be able to participate in, and may also be compensated for lost income in the event that their injury prevents them from employment in the same field of work that they were in before the accident occurred. If one of your loved ones has been injured in an accident, you maybe entitled to what is legally termed “loss of consortium.” Loss of consortium compensates those whose loved ones have been injured and whose loved ones can no longer give the same amount of love, support, guidance, and affection as before due to the physical or emotional injury that has been done. Finally, in some circumstances, you might be entitled to the mental anguish and emotional distress that you have and will suffer because of the injury that occurred. In some cases, you may also be entitled to punitive damages in the event that defendant's conduct was particularly egregious. Calculating the cost of repairing your property, your past and future medical bills and lost wages is relatively easy. However, compensation for disfigurement, disability, lost enjoyment of life, emotional distress, loss of consortium and loss of love, society and affection in a wrongful death case is not so simple. To evaluate these damages, lawyers depend on their experience in handling similar cases and watching juries decide such cases for others in the community. The bottom line question becomes what would a reasonable jury in your local award for these items? What would they likely conclude to be a fair and reasonable amount to fairly compensate you or your loved ones for these damages?