In 2017 alone, the cost of medical care and productivity losses resulting from occupant injuries and fatalities in motor vehicle accidents exceeded $75 billion. These costs are a burden on car accident victims, their families, and society. Sadly, this figure does not account for the non-economic damages car accidents cause. However, non-economic damages are no less critical and deserving of compensation in an injury claim.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
Car accident victims are entitled to receive compensation for the losses they suffer because of the accident. These losses or damages are generally divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages represent financial losses and include such things as:
- Medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Property damage
These losses are typically easy to prove and calculate because they come with a pre-attached value. For example, the cost of a medical expense is determined by the amount you were billed.
On the other hand, non-economic losses are more abstract and subjective than economic damages. They do not come with an inherent or easily identifiable value. Non-economic damages in an auto accident might include such things as:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Scarring or disfigurement
- Physical impairment, such as the loss of a limb, body function, or paralysis
- Mental anguish, including anxiety and embarrassment
- Decreased quality of life
- Loss of consortium
The Importance of Non-Economic Damages in a Car Accident Claim
Receiving compensation for medical bills, lost wages, and property loss is essential. However, the impact of a motor vehicle accident on a person’s life is more than simply monetary. These accidents frequently cause severe injuries and decrease the quality of a victim’s life.
Car accidents can lead to debilitating physical or emotional issues that diminish the victim’s ability to enjoy life as they once did. Non-economic damages are used to compensate an injured individual for such losses. In recovering non-economic damages, the victim can be brought as close as possible to their condition before the car accident.
Determining the Value of Non-Economic Damages
Assigning monetary compensation for non-economic damages is often a complex and challenging process. This task is hard because a specific monetary value must be given to a nonspecific and subjective injury. Often, an accident victim can estimate non-economic damages by researching past auto accident cases. If you can find a past case, with similar facts to your own, then you can use the value of non-economic damages in that case as a starting point for valuing your own damages.
How a Car Accident Attorney Can Help
The help of a skilled auto accident attorney is critical in cases that involve non-economic damages. A car accident lawyer can help an injury victim identify and describe all the different types of non-economic damages that they may suffer from. In addition, a lawyer can assist in the difficult process of placing a value on these losses.
Please know that the attorneys at Otorowski Morrow & Golden, PLLC have over 120 years of combined experience helping people injured in an auto accident. These lawyers are tireless in their efforts and passionate in their representation. Do yourself a favor and contact them now for the quality legal assistance you deserve. We provide a free consultation to all of our clients.