Damages in a Washington DC Wrongful Termination Claim
If you were wrongfully terminated from your Washington DC job, you may be entitled to monetary compensation known as damages. Damages awarded by a judge may compensate wronged employees for losses related to their unjust firing, both tangible and intangible.
When an employer’s actions are particularly egregious, recoverable damages in a Washington DC wrongful termination claim may include punitive damages as well, which can substantially increase the value of an award. A skilled wrongful death attorney could help you calculate damages that may be available for your specific circumstances.
Lawsuits Versus Settlements
Wrongful termination claims must be filed by the deadline established by DC’s statute of limitations for this action. This limit is three years in many cases, but if the claim involves the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the deadline could be much sooner. It is advisable to retain an experienced attorney as soon as possible to determine how long you have to file a claim for your wrongful termination.
When one party files a tort lawsuit against another seeking compensation for the harm they suffered, the parties and their attorneys often meet or exchange communications regarding the issues involved. As part of these communications, the person or entity that is being sued may offer to settle the claim.
A settlement creates a contractual agreement in which the wronged party typically gives up the right to sue in exchange for monetary compensation and sometimes other provisions. A settlement agreement may contain terms unique to the situation, like a promise to keep certain information confidential or that the party sued will not admit to wrongdoing. A court may approve a settlement and enforce it if a party refuses to meet its terms.
The Value of a Settlement
The same factors that would be considered by a court if a case was to go to trial are considered when calculating the value of a settlement. An experienced employment lawyer could help calculate the anticipated value of damages in a Washington DC wrongful termination claim to determine whether a settlement offer provides fair compensation.
When an employer offers a settlement to a wrongfully terminated employee, the employee must weigh the risk of taking the case to trial versus pursuing a settlement. Depending on the circumstances, damages could be higher, lower, or denied entirely compared to the certainty of an amount offered in a settlement.
Determining Damages in a Wrongful Termination Case
The specific losses that may factor into a wrongful termination claim in Washington DC will vary according to the circumstances. Some of the factors that impact a damage award’s final value include:
- The value of lost wages
- The value of lost benefits
- Costs associated with the search for a replacement job
- Punitive damages
- Medical expenses
- Mental distress
- The reason for the termination
In many lawsuits, the harmed individual may receive damages to compensate for both economic and non-economic losses which resulted from the opposing party’s negligence or malice. Financial losses are relatively simple to calculate and include factors such as lost wages and bills for added expenses.
A settlement or court verdict could also include amounts to cover intangible harms suffered like emotional distress and pain and suffering, but non-economic factors such as these can be more challenging to calculate. An experienced employment law attorney familiar with the courts’ evaluations of these factors could help determine a reasonable amount for the intangible consequences of a wrongful termination.
Call an Attorney to Learn More About Damages in a Washington DC Wrongful Termination Claim
Seeking damages in a Washington DC wrongful termination claim can be a complicated process that requires careful and professional planning. It may be necessary to collect and preserve a great deal of evidence to support such a claim—one of many matters with which an employment law attorney could provide assistance.
Damages awarded after a successful claim could offset the effects of harmful employment practices and discourage other employers from unfairly retaliating against their employees. To learn more about what may be available for your circumstances, call today to schedule a consultation.