Nobody wants to find themselves in a serious car accident. Aside from the damage to your car, you can suffer painful and long-lasting physical injuries. Add the medical expenses, lost income, and the pain and suffering after an accident, and the costs are often more than most people can manage.
You must estimate your economic and non-economic damages to understand your case’s value. If awarded, non-economic damages can be a huge part of your recovery in a personal injury case. If you have questions about your own potential case, then it is important that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
Types of Damages Available in Personal Injury Cases
Damages represent an injury victim’s financial and emotional losses related to an accident. When someone is injured in an accident, they may be entitled to three main categories of damages: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages.
- Economic damages: These damages compensate for your financial losses after an accident. You can easily document them with bills and other documentation. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, lost income due to an inability to work, and property damage.
- Non-economic damages: These damages are not easy to estimate. They are designed to compensate for permanent or long-lasting injuries that have affected the injury victim in serious emotional and psychological ways. Non-economic damages make up for your pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life due to an accident.
- Punitive damages: These damages are rare. Punitive damages are not meant to actually compensate an injury victim. Rather, they punish a defendant for their conduct. If a court or jury feels that a defendant’s conduct was grossly negligent or shocking, it may award punitive damages to penalize the defendant.
Common Types of Non-Economic Damages
Missouri personal injury victims may be eligible for several types of non-economic damages through a personal injury lawsuit.
The most common types of non-economic damages are:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of life enjoyment
- Loss of consortium
These are just some of the types of non-economic damages that are potentially available in a personal injury case. A personal injury attorney can make sure that you don’t leave out any potential non-economic damages when pursuing compensation from an at-fault party.
These damages can be significant when they are awarded. You stand the greatest chance to be awarded non-economic damages if you endure permanent or life-changing injuries because of an accident.
How Do Courts Determine the Proper Amount of Non-Economic Damages?
The court or insurance company will assess a number of issues to determine the appropriate amount of non-economic damages.
The following factors may impact an injury victim’s non-economic damages:
- How severe were the victim’s injuries, and how long did it take them to recover?
- Did the injury result in permanent impairment or disability?
- Does the injury prevent the victim from enjoying time with their family children?
- Does the injury prevent the victim from performing daily activities?
- Did the injury disfigure or scar the victim’s face or body?
- What ways does the injury inconvenience the victim?
This is a partial list of questions that will be examined to determine the appropriate amount of non-economic damages. Courts and insurance companies use different formulas, such as the multiplier method, to try and calculate the appropriate amount of non-economic damages.
The multiplier method uses your economic damages like medical bills as a reference for your non-economic damages. The parties choose a multiplier based on the severity of injuries, length of recovery, and more. Multipliers are usually a number between one and a half and five. The more significant the injury, the higher the multiplier.
If you are curious about potential non-economic damages for your case, then make sure you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney right away.
How Do I Know If I Qualify for Non-Economic Damages?
Not all cases qualify for non-economic damages. To be awarded non-economic damages, you have to prove that another person negligently caused your serious injuries, which will have severe collateral consequences.
Generally, the more severe your accident is, the more likely your case will qualify for non-economic damages. If you are suffering long-term physical or mental effects due to a serious accident, then you can be awarded significant non-economic damages.
Get Your Legal Questions Answered in a Free Consultation Today
If you have been injured in an accident, you probably have many questions about what you should do first. If you are curious about what non-economic damages you might be entitled to, then contact us for a free consultation. Contact us today to schedule a consultation with one of our experienced personal injury lawyers at The Bradley Law Firm.