The costs and expenses after an accident can be overwhelming. Medical expenses and other bills can add up quickly. If you were injured due to another’s negligence, you could be entitled to compensation for your financial losses through a personal injury claim.
The bulk of your injury claim may consist of “economic damages.” These damages attempt to compensate for your financial losses after an accident or injury. They are typically easy to calculate because you have documentation of these losses, such as medical bills, pay stubs, etc.
If you have questions about your case, speak to an experienced personal injury attorney for help.
What Damages Are Available in Personal Injury Cases?
Damages seek to compensate an injury victim in an attempt to make them whole again after their accident. There are three categories of damages in a personal injury case: economic, non-economic, and punitive.
These represent financial losses related to your injuries, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. Any direct monetary loss arising from an accident can fall into the economic damage category.
These damages recognize that not all losses are financial. They seek to compensate a victim for emotional complications after the accident. This category includes things like pain and suffering and mental anguish. Unlike economic damages, these damages aren’t easily calculated typically.
Courts and insurance companies will use different formulas to determine what is appropriate. Non-economic damages are only generally available when a victim has suffered serious injuries.
These damages are unique — and rare. They are meant to punish the at-fault party rather than compensate the injury victim. The court will award punitive damages against the at-fault party for conduct that is especially shocking or outrageous.
A regular accident will not result in punitive damages. If the at-fault party committed a crime or did something outrageous, such as drunk driving, then punitive damages may be awarded.
Common Types of Economic Damages
Accident injuries are painful and expensive. If another person’s negligence injured you, you are entitled to sue the at-fault party for economic damages related to your injury.
Economic damages include, but are not limited to:
- Medical costs, including anticipated future medical care
- Physical therapy
- Lost earnings
- Lost potential future earnings
- Property damages
- Burial/funeral expenses in the case of a wrongful death
Economic damages can include any costs that you incurred because of the accident. If your injuries are severe and permanent, then your economic damages can potentially be very high.
How Courts Determine the Proper Amount of Economic Damages
Courts and insurance companies determine the amount of a party’s economic damages by reviewing documentation submitted by the injured party. The injured party uses medical bills, pay stubs, and other relevant financial documentation to prove their damages.
The court will also hear the defendant’s objections to the proposed amount of economic damages. A court and/or insurance company will consider several costs when calculating what you may be owed. You must include a reasonable estimate of your future expenses to get the maximum possible recovery.
Is There a Cap on Economic Damages in Missouri?
The state of Missouri does not cap economic damages. This means that you will always be able to recover the full amount of your economic damages after an accident — no matter how high.
Economic damages can easily be in the millions, depending on the seriousness of your injuries. Since there is no cap on economic damages in Missouri, it is important to get every cent you lost or paid due to your injuries.
How Do I Calculate My Economic Damages?
To get a sense of your economic damages, add up all of the bills, medical or otherwise, that you have because of the accident. Lost wages, physical therapy expenses, and attorney fees can often be included in your recovery. These costs will typically increase until you have fully healed from your accident (if possible).
It can be difficult to determine the appropriate amount of economic damages you deserve. Sometimes, it requires expert help. Having the guidance of an experienced personal injury attorney can benefit you greatly. If you have questions about how much your case is worth, call us at The Bradley Law Firm for help.
Get Your Legal Questions Answered in a Free Consultation Today
If you were injured in an accident, you probably have questions about what to do next. Contact our experienced personal injury attorneys for a free consultation to discuss your case. We will help you understand your case’s value and come up with a strategy to recover damages from your injuries.