Personal injury laws are designed to help restore justice when someone’s actions lead to a breach in their legal duty of care, and that breach causes losses. In most cases, the accident results in an injury. That injury causes direct losses, but it can also lead to indirect and even long-term losses as well.

What are economic damages? Economic damages are the actual financial losses sustained in these types of incidents. Learn more about the different types of economic damages, how to calculate them, and how to recover this type of compensation below.

Types of Economic Damages in Personal Injury Cases

Economic damages come with an actual, verifiable financial cost. In a personal injury claim, there are usually several types of economic damages that are awarded to the injured party. A few examples of commonly awarded economic damages include:

  • medical bills;
  • lost future wages;
  • a loss of earning capacity in the future;
  • property damage costs;
  • future medical expenses;
  • costs associated with rehabilitation;
  • mental therapy costs;
  • physical therapy costs;
  • legal expenses;
  • expenses associated with household or childcare services.

The economic damages you’re entitled to receive will hinge on the specific facts and circumstances surrounding your accident. In general, your financial damages should help you become financially whole, or restore you to the financial position you were in prior to the accident. You shouldn’t receive more compensation than you actually lost unless you are also awarded punitive damages in your case.

Calculating Economic Damages

Calculating your economic damages starts by rounding up all the evidence and documents that prove your losses. You’ll want to consider all your potential losses upfront since you won’t be able to tack on additional losses later on, especially if you’ve already accepted a settlement award.

To calculate the value of your economic damages, add up all your financial losses together. The sum of those losses will be considered the value of your economic damages.

Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages

Economic damages are only one form of compensation that you can file for in a personal injury lawsuit. Non-economic damages describe other losses that you endure after a personal injury accident that are not necessarily financial. These losses are usually more challenging to value since you won’t be able to produce a bill or receipt that shows the actual financial value of the loss. Some of the most common non-economic damages awarded in personal injury claims include:

  • emotional distress;
  • pain and suffering;
  • disfigurement or permanent scarring;
  • a loss of quality of life;
  • a loss of enjoyment;
  • a loss of consortium;
  • an injury to your personal or professional reputation.

Legal Process for Recovering Economic Damages

Are you considering pursuing economic damages after you experienced an accident? If so, then your first step is determining your options. You may need to consult with a lawyer to determine if your situation has all the necessary elements required to pursue a successful claim. Next, you’ll need to compile evidence that proves the other party had a legal duty to provide for your care, the other party caused the accident and the extent of your losses. Once you’ve constructed a solid claim, you can present it to the other party and begin negotiations. If the other party isn’t interested in settling, then you may need to bring your case to court.

The Role of Legal Counsel in Economic Damage Claims

The right legal advocate will help you make good, informed choices on how to handle your personal injury accident in losses. They’ll help you maximize your claim by securing the right evidence, building up a solid claim, and using their strong negotiation skills to secure justice.

Glossary References

Economic Damages: Economic damages describe the actual, financial expenses associated with an injury after a personal injury accident. These damages are typically easy to prove and calculate.

Non-Economic Damages: Non-economic damages describe the losses associated with an injury after a personal injury accident that isn’t financial. These losses are usually more difficult to value and harder to prove.

Personal Injury Lawsuit: A personal injury lawsuit arises when one party has a legal duty to provide for the care and safety of another party and fails to uphold that duty. When that breach causes an accident, then the person with the legal duty of care will be considered legally and financially liable for the losses that happen as a result of the accident. The injured party can file a legal claim to recover that compensation, and that claim will be considered a personal injury lawsuit.

Punitive Damages: Punitive damages are a special type of damages that are awarded when the liable party’s actions were extremely reckless or negligent. If the responsible party showed a wanton disregard for the care and safety of others, then it might be possible to obtain punitive damages in your case. Punitive damages are not meant to compensate the injured party but to punish and penalize the responsible party.

Ray Kermani
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