Everything You Need To Know About Non-Economic Damages In Personal Injury Law
The role of non-economic damages in personal injury law is to offer you a way to seek compensation for the intangible losses you may have suffered due to the accident, including emotional distress, loss of consortium, disfigurement, and physical pain.
With the help of experienced personal injury attorneys at Stewart J. Guss and other reputable firms, you’ll be able to include non-economic damages in the overall compensation claim. Experienced personal injury attorneys can deal with the at-fault party and handle the insurance companies when seeking non-economic damages.
Lawyers can guide you when negotiating for a settlement or in the event you need to fight things out in court to ensure you get what you rightfully deserve.
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The Different Kinds Of Non-Economic Damages
The non-economic damages tag is basically a broad term for all the non-financial losses that you’ve suffered because of the accident. There are many different subcategories under non-economic damages, some of which include:
Pain & Suffering
There’s a lot of pain one can end up suffering because of a physical injury. Getting compensation for only medical expenses does not relieve all the pain that you may have to put up with because of the injuries you suffered.
If your injuries cause you to suffer physical pain, your pain can be considered non-economic damage.
Loss Of Enjoyment
If you’ve suffered permanent injuries or scars as a result of the accident, you might not be able to perform some of the activities you used to enjoy.
You may have long- or short-term interruptions to your day-to-day routine. Maybe you can’t play a musical instrument anymore or go swimming. In such instances, you deserve to be compensated for the fact that you won’t be able to enjoy such things anymore.
Depression, grief, fear, stress, worry, and anxiety—if you happen to suffer any of these conditions because of the accident, you need to be compensated for them.
Non-economic damages for psychological complications are different when compared to the financial cost of treating physical injuries. The non-economic damages in the claim represent the anguish and agony of having to deal with all the psychological trauma.
Damage To Reputation & Humiliation
A personal injury accident can sometimes change the victim’s social standing. You may start worrying about your professional and personal reputation as well. The reputation damage and humiliation that you feel because of the accident can be included as non-economic damages.
Calculating Non-Economic Losses
There are two main methods you can use to calculate non-economic damages.
The Multiplier Method: This method involves multiplying the total amount of economic damages or losses by a certain value, normally between 1 and 5.
Depending on your case’s unique facts, you may have to multiply that value based on either a lower or higher amount. This technique is a fair and reasonable way of calculating someone’s pain and suffering. However, it can sometimes not be the most useful option.
The Per Diem Method: In this method, a specific monetary figure is defined for every day the victim has to live with their injuries. The daily rate will then be multiplied by all the days the victim is expected to live with the injuries.
For lifelong limitations or disabilities, the per diem technique takes into account your whole life using the average life expectancy.
Can Punitive Damages Be Considered As Non-Economic Damages?
Not at all.
Punitive damages aren’t and can’t be considered non-economic damages. However, they’re not economic damages either. Punitive damages don’t compensate you for any type of injury or loss you may have suffered as a result of the accident. Instead, they are specifically designed to punish the at-fault party for their actions.
Since punitive damages aren’t meant to make you whole for the loss or injury you suffered because of the accident, punitive damages aren’t and can’t be considered non-economic damages.
When you can claim non-economic damages, the seriousness of the accident will help determine how much you’re awarded. The more serious, lasting, permanent, and painful your loss or injury is, the higher the non-economic damages. Always keep this in mind when seeking it.