Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case
Getting into an accident is a frustrating experience in itself, and trying to make sure that you get the medical attention you need, ensuring that your vehicle is repaired, and making certain that you are able to get your life back on track as soon as possible all require a surprising (and sometimes overwhelming) amount of work. In addition to the things that you will need to do in order to keep your personal life on track after this accident, you will also need to go through an insurance claims process in order to get compensation from the other driver’s insurance company, which is almost certain to be frustrating and complex as well. We will review the different Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case in the rest of this article.
Going through the actual claims process with a claims adjuster might not be the most complicated or difficult experience on its own, but the real frustration starts once the investigation is complete, and the insurance company makes its initial settlement offer. If you are not shocked by how low the offer is, it’s more likely because you have not done the proper research than the possibility of the insurance company actually offering an amount that you truly deserve.
An insurance company’s main goal during a settlement is to limit the amount of money that they pay to a victim while maximizing their chances of avoiding legal action—a goal that is fundamentally at odds to your own goal of getting the money you deserve in order to move forward with your life. If you need help getting the money you deserve, The King Law is a great place to find the right attorney for your case.
Economic damages are the basis of a personal injury case, and often when an insurance company makes an initial settlement offer, it is likely entirely focused on these types of damages and ignores the other, less-straightforward non-economic damages that we will discuss below. Economic damages are simple to calculate once they are gathered because they only require compiling the actual, measurable financial costs of a variety of things relating to the accident.
Economic damages cover all medical-related costs and expenses pertaining to the accident, like the cost of an ambulance, hospital bills, the cost of any medical procedures, and more. In addition to these major costs, economic damages also cover the smaller medical costs like co-payments, prescription costs, your insurance deductible, and anything else that costs money as a result of your medical treatment.
In addition to medical costs, economic damages also include income-related impacts such as time missed from work, any paid time off or vacation days used to cover this missed time, as well as any type of impact to the victim’s ability to earn the wages they made before the accident. In cases where the injuries have done long-term or permanent damage, economic damages will include things like long-term disability, or job training in order to provide the victim with an opportunity to learn a new skill that can accommodate their injuries. There are many other economic damages beyond the ones mentioned, and a good attorney will help you identify and calculate all of them.
Non-economic damages are more tricky than economic damages, and as such, they are often the most contested pieces of a personal injury case. This is understandable because these types of damages seek compensation for things that have no measurable dollar value attached to them. Since these are so abstract, an insurance company will key in on these parts of a negotiation as the best opportunity to reduce their obligation.
Non-economic damages include things like the actual pain and suffering associated with an injury, as well as the mental and emotional impacts that these injuries have on a victim. An experienced attorney will be able to compile all of these damages, and then use a variety of methods to apply an understandable and realistic dollar amount to. One of the most common methods is by choosing a number on a scale to illustrate the severity of the damages and using that number as a multiple against the economic damages.