What Are Non-Economic Damages In a Personal Injury Claim?

Posted on Mar 22, 2019 in Personal Injury

In personal injury cases, you may seek compensation for damages done to you due to the negligence or wrongdoing of a person or group. Compensation may be sought for damages incurred in a car accident, a work accident, due to medical malpractice, and more.

There are two types of damages in personal injury cases, economic damages and non-economic damages, also known as special and general damages respectively.

Put simply, economic damages are those losses to your person or property that have a price tag. This can include medical bills, damage to your vehicle or property, or loss of wages. Economic damages are those losses that have a clear cut dollar sign value.

Non-economic damages cover everything else. These can include things like loss of quality of life, pain and suffering, disability or disfigurement, and more. It is more difficult to assign a monetary value to these types of damages, and they can affect different people in lots of different ways.  For this reason, it is important to have an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury lawyer in your corner.

An attorney can help you quantify your damages, ensuring that you get the full amount you deserve in your personal injury settlement. Due to the fluid and situational nature of noneconomic damages, insurance companies and defendants will often try to negotiate the cost associated with these damages. You need a capable personal injury attorney that will negotiate on your behalf and make sure you receive the full compensation you are due.

Calculating Your Personal Injury Claim

Negotiations are an important part of most personal injury cases. It’s important to have a hard number for your claim out front and before entering negotiations.

Calculating economic, or special, damages is easy enough. It’s pretty hard to argue with a medical bill or a car repair statement.

But what about calculating pain and suffering and other non-economic damages? This can be done by employing what’s called the multiplier method.

The principle is simple enough. First, calculate your economic damages. Add up all the bills and losses you incurred due to your injury. Then, multiply that by a number 1.5 – 5. The number 1.5 – 5 should be higher depending on various factors like the severity of your injury, the degree to which is affects or alters your everyday life and mental state, and the degree of apparent fault on the part of the defendant, among other factors.

As you can see, calculating your personal injury claim takes a degree of judgement.  During negotiation, you will need to be able to provide evidence to back up your claims. A personal injury lawyer can compile evidence from a variety of sources. For example, the details and specifics of your accident, the nature of your injuries, your doctor’s assessment, the lawyer’s own experience in cases similar to yours,  and more.

Reaching An Agreement On Your Personal Injury Claim

Many personal injury claims never make it to court. Usually, the defendants and insurance companies would rather settle with you outside of court, rather than pay the money to hire lawyers and go to court on top of having to pay you your settlement.

However, that does not mean the negotiation process will be easy. Many insurance companies for example will employ strategies, including lowballing, to try to save themselves money.

Ultimately if the two sides can’t reach an agreement, the case will go to trial. In this case, a jury will decide how much your non-economic damages are worth.

Have You Been Injured Due to the Negligence or Wrongdoing of Another?

If you have been hurt, call the experienced personal injury lawyers at Bloom Legal. For the last 14 years, we have made it our mission to serve the people of the greater New Orleans area in times of hardship and turmoil.

We know the impact an injury can have on your daily life, your family and wellbeing. We will be beside you every step of the way, from collecting evidence, to calculating your claim, to negotiations. We never back down from a fight, and we will not hesitate to take the other side to court to get you the full compensation you deserve.

Give us a call today for a free consultation, and let us help you get on track to a full recovery.

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