Car Accident Economic And Non-Economic Damages And What Victims Should Know

Posted on: 10 February 2021

Many accident victims expect the at-fault driver's insurance company to foot the bill for any damages. Damages can mean medical bills, car repairs, lost wages, and more. Unfortunately, many accident victims soon realize that auto insurers are not on the side of the victim. That can lead many victims suffering from any number of negative impacts to seek out a car accident lawyer to help them get paid what they are owed. What a car accident victim is owed amounts to damages so read on to find out more about the two types of damages, economic and non-economic.

Economic Damages: A Big Category

This term encompasses a variety of issues that can be equated to a specific dollar amount. No special calculations are necessary when adding up economic damages. Just take the dollar amount of the below forms of damage and add them up:

  • Medical expenses
  • Future medical expenses. This category accounts for future surgeries and medical needs that must take place in the future — after the case is settled.
  • Lost wages
  • Lost and damaged personal property like your car and more.

Of the above damages, the insurer is only going to volunteer to pay for medical expenses and personal property. Only by speaking to a lawyer and taking legal action will be you paid for lost wages and future medical expenses — two very expensive and important forms of damage.

Non-Economic Damages: A Big Monetary Award

In most cases, this category contains a single form of damage — pain and suffering. While it may only be one thing, the monetary award for pain and suffering often exceeds the total sum of economic damages by several times. This is where so many victims err when they just accept what the insurer is offering. Only by taking legal action can they be paid for pain and suffering. The payment for this form of damage is often based on the dollar amount accumulated for medical expenses. The higher the cost for the hospital, doctor, rehabilitative therapy, and more, the higher the level of pain and suffering rises. What is pain and suffering?

  1. Mental problems associated with the accident, such as post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD), generalized anxiety about driving or riding in vehicles, depression, and more.
  2. The general misery associated with injuries that were painful and continue to be painful as you recover.
  3. The way the accident has affected your relationships with your loved ones. If you are in too much pain to attend your daughter's wedding or cook for your loved ones, that is pain and suffering.

To learn more about both economic and non-economic damages, speak to a local car accident lawyer.