Types of Damages

Damages are divided into two categories: 1) economic and 2) non-economic damages. Economic damages in a forklift accident case can include past and future medical expenses, lost earnings, and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages include past and future physical pain, mental suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, disfigurement, physical impairment, inconvenience, grief, anxiety, humiliation, and emotional distress.

If a person dies as a result of a forklift accident, the surviving spouse or children are entitled to compensation. In these wrongful death actions, economic damage would also include loss of financial support, loss of gifts or benefits, funeral and burial expenses and the reasonable value of household services that were lost. Non-economic damages in a wrongful death action would also include loss of love, companionship, comfort, care, assistance, protection, affection, society, moral support, training and guidance and loss of enjoyment of sexual relations.

In certain cases, one can ask for punitive or exemplary damages which are designed to punish the wrongdoer for his conduct and discourage similar conduct in the future. There is no set amount for punitive damages, but the jury should consider how reprehensible was the conduct; what is a reasonable relationship between the amount of punitive damages and the harm that was caused; and what amount of damages is necessary to punish the wrongdoer and to discourage future wrongful conduct in view of the defendant’s financial condition. In order to claim punitive damages, the plaintiff must show by clear and convincing evidence that the defendant’s conduct was oppressive, malicious, or fraudulent.


Cheong, Denove, Rowell, Bennett & Hapuarachy have the extensive resources to handle the most complex forklift accident cases, yet is small enough to offer individualized service to our clients.

We believe the more you know, the better choice you will make. If you are injured by a forklift call 310-277-4857 for a free consultation.

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