There are many consequences associated with a serious physical injury. In addition to the physical hardship of dealing with your injuries, you could also be burdened by emotional and financial issues as well. These hardships could entitle you to economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages relate to your measurable monetary losses. Non-economic damages involve the subjective harm you experienced. A Dallas personal injury lawyer can help you pursue both types of compensation.
Understanding Economic and Non-Economic Damages
When you successfully secure compensation after an injury, you might be eligible for many types of reimbursements. These can be broadly categorized into two main types: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages cover the measurable financial losses you’ve incurred due to your injury. Economic damages are meant to restore you to the financial state you enjoyed before the injury.
On the other hand, non-economic damages address the emotional and physical challenges you’ve experienced post-injury. While it might be challenging to assign a precise value to these, a personal injury attorney can help determine their worth. Please note that you only have a limited time to file a lawsuit to claim these damages, per Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code §16.003.
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What are Examples of Economic Damages?
There are several common examples of economic damages that might be available in a personal injury lawsuit. Some common examples include the following:
One of the primary issues for injury victims is the cost of medical care. When you are injured due to negligence, you could be entitled to damages that recoup both past and future medical expenses.
When you are too hurt to work, the negligent party responsible for your injury could be liable for your missed wages. This can be an important part of your personal injury case, as losing your primary source of income can impact your entire family’s budget.
Note: To determine reduced earning potential, we calculate lost wages by taking your normal wage and multiplying it by the number of hours you missed. However, you could also be entitled to compensation for lost employment benefits or accrued time off.
Reduced Earning Potential
There are instances where an injury might impede your ability to earn at the levels you did before the incident. In such scenarios, compensation can be sought for this potential decrease in earning ability, which protects your financial future against the long-term effects of the injury.
Furthermore, financial compensation can also cover:
Personal Property Damage
Should your possessions suffer damage due to the incident, you are entitled to claims that address the costs of repairing or replacing these items. This provision is in place to prevent any financial setbacks arising from damage or loss of property.
These types of economic damages are quantifiable and represent the actual financial loss one may face following an injury. It is crucial to allow a personal injury lawyer to assess all potential economic impacts of an incident to ensure that you are made whole, financially speaking, as if the injury had never occurred.
How Do I Prove Economic Damages?
Because economic losses are objective, there are often ways to establish exactly what these losses are worth. This is possible, given that the purpose of these damages is to return you to the financial position you were in before your injury.
Proving economic losses starts with documentary evidence. This can include paid medical bills or receipts covering the expenses you paid for yourself. Economic losses can also pay for liens that your medical provider has placed on your recovery.
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What are Examples of Non-Economic Damages?
The unique nature of non-economic damages lies in their significance—they reflect your individual and subjective hardships that don’t come with a predetermined price tag. The effects of these damages are deeply personal and vary widely, making them less straightforward to measure in financial terms.
Pain and Suffering
The type of compensation most commonly associated with non-economic damages is related to your pain and suffering. Often, the pain from a serious injury can have long-lasting consequences. Although most people think of physical pain when considering these damages, it is important to note that they also cover the mental pain that can follow a serious injury.
Determining a fair settlement for pain and suffering is not always obvious. The subjective nature of these damages can make establishing their value challenging, especially without the help of an attorney.
Scarring and Disfigurement
Many serious injuries result in permanent scarring or disfigurement. Disfigurement can have not only physical effects that last a lifetime but a lasting emotional impact as well. Many people struggle with scarring for the rest of their lives, especially when it is noticeable on the hands or face.
The emotional impact of living with scarring or disfigurement can be devastating. That is why financial compensation could be available when these conditions occur as a result of negligence.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
There is no objective way to place a value on the enjoyment of life. However, no longer being able to do the things you love can often be one of the most difficult outcomes following a serious injury. From participating in hobbies to meeting your own daily needs, facing physical or emotional limitations that impact your quality of life can be distressing. You could be entitled to damages based on how these limitations impact your quality of life and mental health.
How Does My Attorney Prove Non-Economic Damages?
At Loncar Lyon Jenkins, we understand that the challenges you face after an injury aren’t always reflected in a receipt or balance sheet. Your personal injury lawyer can translate your subjective experiences of pain and emotional distress into a language that a judge or jury can understand—and value.
Your attorney will employ various strategies to demonstrate the depth of your non-economic damages. They’ll guide you in documenting your day-to-day experiences, turning your personal accounts of pain and emotional turmoil into compelling evidence. By keeping detailed records, you create a vivid diary that reveals your daily struggles in the courtroom.
Even if your pain is invisible to others, the effects of your non-economic damages often leave traces that can be recorded. Your lawyer will help uncover and document signs of your distress, such as sleep disturbances, episodes of anxiety, or instances of depression, and present these symptoms to substantiate your claim.
Reach Out to Us Regarding Your Potential Damages Today
If you were hurt through no fault of your own, you could be entitled to an array of compensation. An attorney from Loncar Lyon Jenkins could not only answer your questions about the difference between economic and non-economic damages, but they could also advocate for you throughout the personal injury process. Contact us today for a free consultation.