In personal injury cases, injured parties seek compensation from the negligent parties responsible for their injuries and other losses. When discussing these legal actions, you may come across the terms “economic damages” and “non-economic damages.” In personal injury terms, damages refers to the financial compensation an individual who sustains injuries due to another party’s negligence may receive upon the settlement of their claim.
To break matters down further, compensation may come in several forms. Economic and non-economic damages are terms that refer to the types of compensation that may be recovered. The total sum a victim of a personal injury accident may receive depends on a variety of factors pertaining to their case and typically includes the total financial losses they incurred because of the accident.
Anyone who takes a financial hit in the form of property damage, medical injuries, or psychological suffering because of another person’s or entity’s negligence may have the right to file a claim against the liable party for compensation. Meeting with a skilled personal injury lawyer is the best way to determine whether you qualify for compensation, and if so, how much.
What are Economic Damages in California?
Economic damages, also known as special damages, are the actual quantifiable losses a victim incurs. These losses usually have a specific monetary value because they consist of expenses for which there are records. Common examples of economic damages include:
- Lost wages
- Medical expenses (both past and future)
- Property damage
In the majority of personal injury cases, medical bills form a substantial portion of the awarded compensation. If you are injured through no fault of your own, you may be on the hook for the following healthcare-related expenses:
- Hospital bills
- Doctor’s appointments
- Medication costs
- Physical therapy sessions
- Psychological therapy
- Ambulance bills
- Medical equipment
Lost wages are also tangible losses a person may suffer due to being unable to return to work. If you incurred lost wages due to a car crash or other accident, your attorney may be able to review your pay stubs and calculate the extent of your lost wages. If you suffered a severe injury and will be out of work for some time, or if you will not be able to return to the same type of job due to your reduced abilities, a knowledgeable attorney can calculate your lost earning capacity.
Your attorney will add up all your tangible financial losses to calculate your economic damages.
Understanding Non-Economic Damages in California
Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages, also known as general damages, are more abstract and are thus much more challenging to calculate. Non-economic damages are awarded to compensate victims for losses on which they cannot easily quantify. Non-economic damages reflect long-term or lifelong changes in a person’s quality of life. They are more common in accidents which resulted in catastrophic injuries that require victims and their families to make dramatic changes to their day-to-day lives.
Common examples of non-economic damages include:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- A negative change to the plaintiff’s reputation
- Loss of friends
- Accident-related disabilities
- Psychological distress
Determining a monetary equivalent for non-economic damages is not straight-forward like it is for economic damages. There is no standard formula for calculating pain and suffering; however, skilled injury attorneys may use different approaches to come to a numerical figure. The “multiplier method” is a common means to approximate a fair financial sum.
Contact the Personal Injury Attorneys at Younglove Law Group Today
Incurring losses from an accident that was not your fault can be a deeply frustrating experience. Specifically, seeking compensation for your non-economic losses can be especially challenging. The best way to secure the compensation you deserve for your emotional pain, suffering, and hardship is to work with a skilled California personal injury lawyer.
At Younglove Law Group, we are proud to offer quality legal representation to individuals who have suffered injuries from accidents in California. Our Newport Beach law firm focuses exclusively on personal injury cases and takes a special interest in claims involving catastrophic and fatal injuries. Our attorneys take a client-focused approach to our cases, always ensuring our clients feel prioritized and heard. Call our top-rated personal injury lawyers at (844) 810-1800 or fill out our online contact form for a free and confidential consultation.