Non-economic damages in a personal injury case, such as pain, suffering, and similar losses, aren’t tied to a specific bill, so they are called “non-economic.” Money can never make up for the suffering from a serious auto accident. It is difficult to determine a monetary amount when an accident leaves one permanently disabled or impairs their quality of life.
However, financial compensation accident victims receive for these losses can help them adjust to a new standard of living and recognize their experiences. If you are seeking non-economic damages in your situation, a personal injury lawyer can help.
What Are Non-Economic Losses in a Personal Injury Case?
A car accident attorney can recover non-economic losses can in third-party lawsuits. You can file this lawsuit if another driver’s carelessness causes permanent disfigurement or “serious impairment of body function.” That means your injury interferes with your daily life significantly. A third-party suit is also an option if you have lost a loved one in an accident.
If you have the grounds for a third-party suit, our personal injury attorneys can claim a “non-economic loss” or “non-monetary damages.” These are things you can’t produce a bill for or tie to a specific loss, but they caused harm anyway. If you work with a lawyer or law firm, they can seek maximum compensation for your economic and non-economic damages.
Why Should You Pursue Non-Economic Damages?
In a personal injury case, your immediate pocket expenses might seem more pressing, but non-economic losses can extract heavy tolls in the long run. Seeking appropriate damages can help mitigate the challenges ahead by providing a financial cushion you may need.
For instance, while the pain and anguish of an injury or disability do not have a specific dollar amount, the consequences of these losses can hit your wallet. CNBC reports that major depression can cost over $10,000 a year in health costs. The overall losses caused by depression’s effect on work productivity are estimated at $44 billion.
Moreover, the trauma on your psyche from suffering an accident and injury warrants compensation. You weren’t just physically hurt—you were put through an ordeal that cost you time and emotional and mental energy. Justice doesn’t just mean paying your bills but also acknowledging that you were wronged, which can help bring you closure.
What Non-Economic Damages Could You Recover in a Personal Injury Case?
Depending on what you suffered in your car collision, your compensation could cover:
Pain and suffering
- Impaired quality of life
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment
- Loss of companionship
These intangible losses are often tied to an accident’s consequences. For example, if you were an avid tennis player whose hand was crushed in a crash, preventing you from playing tennis ever again, a pain and suffering attorney could link that unique circumstance to specific damages.
Financial compensation is also sometimes linked to specific injuries or conditions. If you developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after a car crash, you could receive economic damages for the direct costs of your treatment and non-economic damages that recognize how your trauma affects your life.
Non-Economic Damages Can Extend to Family Members
If you are married or have children, your family could claim loss of consortium damages. This means that, due to your injuries, you can’t act as a companion like you were before the accident. For example, some injuries affect spousal intimacy or a parent’s ability to pick up their child. These are compensable losses through non-economic damages.
How Can a Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Non-Economic Losses?
Because there is no bill for services regarding a non-economic loss in a personal injury case, it can be challenging to show how much you should receive for your injuries. Complicating matters is the fact that insurers and liable parties question non-economic losses or don’t compensate them in settlement offers.
That doesn’t mean it’s not worth pursuing these damages. Your attorney will likely focus on differences between your life before and after the accident. For example:
- Did you quit playing a sport or doing a hobby because of the accident?
- How much pain medication do you take on any given day?
- Are there household chores you can no longer do yourself?
- Are you unable to perform regular daily activities without help?
- Has your injury affected how you look, sound, or behave?
- Can you no longer work due to your injuries?
Your attorney will then value that loss based on your life expectancy and the severity of your injuries.
This can be an emotional time, especially if you have permanent injuries. Consider bringing a support person when you meet with your lawyer, someone who can help you consider how your injury affects your life.
How Evidence and Experts Play a Role in Proving Damages
Even though your non-economic damages aren’t tied to a specific bill, expenses can still help paint a picture of your pain and suffering. In fact, since non-economic damages in personal injury cases are so heavily based on individual experiences, your legal team will work to include as much evidence as possible to highlight what you suffered.
Possible evidence includes:
- Accident reconstruction and debris from the scene to show accident severity
- Medical records, doctor’s notes, treatment plans, and prescriptions
- Records of employing at-home assistants, such as nurses or therapists
- Employment records showing your inability to work the same or any hours
- Testimony from friends, family, and coworkers about your experience
Experts’ analysis and testimony can support your case. Some authorities that can weigh in on non-economic losses following a car crash:
- Doctors and healthcare providers
- Physical therapists and rehabilitation experts
- Psychologists, psychiatrists, and counselors
These experts can attest to your injuries and their severity. They can also explain the physical and mental consequences of your injuries. Their diagnoses can support your pursuit of non-economic damages by tying your injuries to specific consequences—PTSD, anxiety, depression, or chronic pain. They can also offer more clinical insight into your pain level and produce documentation to prove what you’ve suffered.
Call Us Today – We Can Review Your Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Christensen Law employs personal injury attorneys and paralegals who can seek non-economic damages on your behalf. They will identify and assign a value to your non-economic losses so you can recover what you need to treat your injuries.
Call us today at 248-900-9000 for a personal consultation to review your non-economic losses.