A personal injury case begins with establishing negligence, which is the recognition of a legal duty and breach of that legal duty. Then, the injury case requires establishment of the second prong of causation. Finally, damages are the last part of a plaintiff's case that must be established. An injured party can potentially recover damages in a personal injury suit if he or she is able to prove three things:
that an entity, company, or person was negligent
that the negligence of the entity, company, or person was the cause of the injured party's injury
that the injured party's conduct was not negligent
There are two classes of damages that an injured party can potentially recover in a personal injury lawsuit. Those two classifications are compensatory damages and punitive damages. It is important to realize that just because there are two types of damages available as potential remedies to personal injury litigants, it does not necessarily translate into a claimant's ability to recover both types (or even one type) of damages.