Economic and Non-Economic Damages | How Potential Claims are Valued
When you have suffered injury in any type of accident, and you can show both a breach of the duty of care and causation, the focus turns to damages. Damages represent the losses suffered as a result of the carelessness or negligence of the defendant(s).
When evaluating your case, your attorney will typically look at a number of criteria to determine how much you can reasonably expect to recover in a settlement or judgment:
- The full measure of your injuries—Will the injury prevent you from working and how long? What type of medical care or rehab will you need? Will you be forced to discontinue in activities that give you joy and fulfillment?
- The extent to which insurance will cover your losses—This may include health, auto or casualty insurance
- The witnesses for and against you—How credible are they? Will they be available if you go to trial? What kind of physical impression will they make?
- Are you experiencing regular pain and suffering?
Your lawyer will typically refer to the compensation you seek as either economic or non-economic damages. Economic damages are those that are fairly concrete and usually easy to calculate. Lost wages and income, medical expenses and property damage are generally considered to be economic damages.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are much more subjective, but still very real. They can include the monetary value of pain and suffering, loss of companionship or consortium, or loss of enjoyment of life. Different courts take different approaches to the calculation of non-economic damages. Some judges will simply instruct the jury to be reasonable and fair, whereas others may allow the jury to take the amount of economic damages and multiply it by a factor (anywhere from one to ten) to assess non-economic damages.
Contact Our Office
For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary.
We take all motor vehicle accident claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.