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Oakland Personal Injury > Blog > Accident > What Are The Three Types Of Monetary Damages In California Accident Cases?

What Are The Three Types Of Monetary Damages In California Accident Cases?


When you were hurt in a car collision, truck or motorcycle crash, slip and fall, or other type of accident, you probably know that you have options to pursue the responsible party for damages. However, you may not give much thought to the different types of compensation available under California law. State statutes on damages provide that you can recover money as damages, which are intended to put you in the same position as you were before the accident – to the greatest extent possible. In other words, you are seeking funds to reimburse you for the wide range of losses you sustain.

Because there are so many different consequences that you suffer as a victim, you should understand the basics about what you might be able to obtain through the legal process. Your Oakland accident lawyer will handle the specifics, though a review of the three types of monetary damages in a California civil claim may be helpful.

  1. Economic Damages: Some of your losses may be related to out-of-pocket expenses and invoices you receive, particularly the medical care you receive to treat your injuries. You could incur bills for emergency transport, ER care, hospitalization, rehabilitation, surgery, and other services. When you need pain medications and travel to follow-up appointments with health care providers, you will have out-of-pocket expenses as well. In addition, another important type of economic damages is lost wages. You might be unable to work for some time because of your injuries, so you may qualify for obtain amounts for this income.
  1. Non-Economic Damages: You may also sustain losses that are related to your injuries, but are not associated with a specific value. These are personal, subjective losses representing the hardship you endure and how your injuries affect various aspects of your life. Non-economic damages are familiarly known as “pain and suffering,” but they may also include losses for:
  • Scarring and disfigurement;
  • Emotional anguish and distress;
  • Diminished quality of life; and
  • The implications of your injuries on your personal relationships with a spouse, children, and other loved ones. 

Note that there IS a statutory cap in California medical malpractice cases, so you cannot recover more than $250,000 in non-economic damages.  This cap, however, does not apply to ordinary injuries outside of the medical malpractice context.

  1. Punitive Damages: Victims may be able to seek punitive damages when a wrongdoer’s actions are extreme, but these amounts are not intended as compensation. Also known as exemplary damages, they aim to punish the individual for misconduct and deter others from engaging in the same acts. They are only available in cases where the victim can prove malicious, reckless, and/or intentional harm by clear and convincing evidence.

Our Oakland Car Accident Attorneys Can Explain Damages in More Detail 

This overview of monetary damages may be useful, but it is essential to retain experienced legal counsel if you were hurt in an accident. Our Oakland accident lawyers at Venardi Zurada, LLP are happy to assist, so please contact us to set up a free consultation. We serve injured victims throughout California’s Bay Area.



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You can be confident in relying on our zealous and effective Oakland personal injury lawyers:

  • We have served Northern California for over 35 years.

  • Our attorneys have been honored with numerous accolades, including SuperLawyers, AV Rating, and Top 100 Trial Attorney Awards.

  • In our decades of legal service to the community, we have garnered a substantial reputation. We are respected by opposing counsel, feared by insurance companies, and followed by jurors.

  • We combine Big Firm experience with boutique office attention and care. Several of our attorneys have experience working for the biggest law firms in the country, including the most prominent maritime defense law firm. Our attorneys rely on that big-firm know-how but prefer the personal touch of a smaller firm, allowing us to provide individualized and attentive representation to each of our clients.

  • We’ve been through it, too. Attorney Mark Venardi had to personally deal with a medical malpractice injury he suffered at a time when he was working a blue-collar job on an offshore oil rig; he knows what it’s like to be a working man dealing with a personal injury. He built his way up to working for the biggest maritime defense firm in the country, before deciding to focus on helping people like himself who were hurt by negligence and mistreatment from others.

  • We like to fight for the underdog. Attorney Martin Zurada is an immigrant and the son of immigrants who tirelessly worked his way up through education and experience to attain the American dream. Even though he has served in large, high-level litigation law firms, he prefers helping clients directly, fighting against injustices, and securing victories for the little guy who has been wronged.

  • We win. We have secured multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements. In our combined tenure, we have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients across our broad areas of practice.

  • We care first and foremost about our clients. We dedicate ourselves to serve each and every client personally, and we make ourselves available to our clients around the clock.

  • There is no cost to you until we win. If we don’t make a recovery for you, we will not collect a fee. And all initial consultations are free of charge.

Dedicated Areas of Practice

We offer a wide range of litigation services for Oakland personal injury and employment law clients. Specifically, our areas of dedicated practice span the following issues:

Employment Law. California employers must assure proper pay to employees and comply with a variety of rules and regulations to prevent discrimination and unfair treatment of employees. We represent victims of wage and hour violations, employment discrimination, workplace harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination, and any other form of California workplace mistreatment. If you believe you were treated inappropriately at work, we can help.

Personal Injury. If you’ve been injured due to another’s negligence, you deserve compensation. That’s where we come in. As Oakland personal injury attorneys, we right the wrongs done to our clients. And we do it at our cost during the entire duration of your case. There is never any fee until we win. Give us a call if you have been hurt in a car accident, by a toxic spill or contamination, as a result of medical malpractice, due to abuse or neglect, in a maritime accident, by a vicious animal attack, or any other incident caused by someone else’s negligence.

The Sooner You Speak to an Oakland Injury Lawyer, the Stronger Your Chances for Recovery Will Become.

Contact the Oakland injury lawyers at Venardi Zurada today, and let’s get started. We are available to talk any time, so whether you call, email or chat online, we’ll respond and set up an appointment to meet you. We have several Spanish speakers in the office and welcome the opportunity to cater our services to Oakland’s Spanish-speaking population. You pay no fee until we win for you, so you have nothing to lose by contacting our office for a free consultation. The sooner you call, the faster we can start getting results for you. Call 925-937-3900.

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