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Damages for Personal Injuries

This lesson covers the general principles and basic measures governing the remedy of damages for personal injuries. It explores issues and problems that confront a person seeking the damages remedy to address tortiously-inflicted physical harm.

The lesson considers the damages remedy by examining the general and special rules that govern legal protection of the interests in preserving bodily integrity, mental integrity, and ability to pursue a livelihood. In a series of situations presenting harms to those interests, the student will be asked to analyze the situations, then select, apply and assess those rules.

Working on the problems in the lesson will expose the student to concepts such as ascertainability; the collateral source rule; loss of earnings capacity; mental anguish; pain and suffering; prejudgment interest; reduction to present value; and work life expectancy among others.

A separate lesson, Damages for Injuries that Cause Death, deals with the issues and problems of remedying the ultimate physical injury. Before working in this lesson the student should first complete the lesson on General Concepts of Damages in Torts.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the lesson, students will be able to:
1. Define the purpose behind the damages remedy.
2. Discuss the general principles and basic measures governing the remedy of damages for personal injuries.
3. Explain issues arising in the application of the damages remedy to restore the injured person's interests in preserving bodily integrity, mental integrity, and the person’s ability to pursue a livelihood.
4. Analyze some of the problems in seeking to fulfill the objective of returning injured plaintiffs as close as possible to the position they enjoyed immediately prior to sustaining the injury.

 

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