When you are injured in an accident, you suffer physical harm, emotional hardship, and financial losses. If your accident was caused by another person, you have the right to seek compensation for all of your losses, including those that are difficult to value.
In this blog, we will delve into the differences between economic and non-economic damages in an Indiana personal injury case. We will discuss how economic damages, which are tangible financial losses, are calculated, and how non-economic damages, which include pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, can impact your recovery.
Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Economic damages are financial damages you can measure in monetary terms. In other words, economic damages are your out-of-pocket costs related to the accident.
For example, common economic damages we see in many personal injury cases include the following:
- Past, present, and future medical expenses
- Past, present, and future lost wages
- Property damage
- Cremation, funeral, and/or burial expenses if the accident resulted in death
- Ongoing personal care and/or medical care
- Over-the-counter medications and medical supplies
- Travel expenses
- Loss of earning capacity
Calculating economic damages involves obtaining copies of your medical bills, evidence of past income, and invoices or other proof of expenses related to the accident. In the case of future expenses, our lawyers use experts to calculate the monetary cost you will suffer due to your injuries from the accident.
Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Non-economic damages are often referred to as “pain and suffering.” They refer to the physical pain, emotional suffering, and mental anguish you experience due to the accident and the injuries you suffered in the accident. Below are some of the other losses that could be accounted for with pain and suffering damages:
- Permanent disability
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship, support, and love (in the case of death)
- Restrictions in your day-to-day life
- Mental disturbances (e.g. trouble sleeping, overwhelming phobias or anxiety, panic attacks, depression, etc.)
- Impact on your relationships with others
The law cannot undo the damage caused by your injuries. However, these damages can compensate you for your damages with a financial recovery. The question then, is how to assign a dollar amount to someone’s pain and suffering.
How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated?
Pain and suffering cannot be reduced to a simple formula or calculated by looking at bills and invoices. Two people can suffer the same exact injury because of an accident with similar circumstances but suffer in different ways and to different degrees.
You cannot put a price tag on someone’s pain and suffering, but you can base the compensation on the severity of the injury and the level of impact the accident has had on your day-to-day life and overall quality of life. To determine the amount of pain and suffering damages to demand in your case, our attorneys use evidence such as medical records, eyewitness and expert testimonies, and your account of the severity and impact of the injuries.
Learn more about how pain and suffering may be valued after a wreck by reading our blog, How Is Pain and Suffering Valued After a Car Accident in Indianapolis?
Because each personal injury case is different and each accident is unique, calculating pain and suffering damages cannot be simplified to a standard equation. Our personal injury lawyers have years of experience handling personal injury cases and calculating pain and suffering damages.