What are Economic and Non-Economic Damages in a Car Accident Claim?

In the blink of an eye, lives might change for good. Cars have a destructive force that leaves trails of devastation in their wake during accidents. Beyond the physical wreckage and dented metals lies the reality of financial burdens and untouchable losses.

After an accident, economic and non-economic damages arise. A car accident victim will have many questions following the accident. You can learn about the most common car accident FAQs and their answers by speaking with a lawyer. This article will explore and provide insights into economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages in a Car Accident Claim

Economic damages refer to tangible losses after an accident. In this case, the losses are measurable. There are various types of economic damages are:

  • Medical expenses: This accounts for the costs of treating a person’s injuries during a car accident. These expenses include physical therapy, surgical procedures, medication, and other treatments.
  • Lost wages and earning capacity: Sometimes, injuries from car accidents may make the victim unable to work. This leads to lost wages, for which the victim needs compensation.
  • Property damages: The insurance company covers the vehicle and other damaged properties.
  • Future financial losses: Insurance companies can offer compensation for future expenses if injuries suffered are long-term.

Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages are subjective and are not measurable. Non-economic damages compensate the victim for the intangible losses and suffering from the accident.

 Let us have a closer look at the types of non-economic damages:

  • Pain and suffering:  Victims of accidents go through pain and suffering. Insurance companies compensate the victims to help them get back to normalcy.
  • Emotional distress: Car accidents impact the victim’s psychological well-being, leading to anxiety, emotional distress, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and depression.
  • Loss of consortium: Accidents that result in the loss of a family relationship. Deprivation of spousal affection and sexual relations fall under this category.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life: Some injuries limit the victim’s ability to participate in activities that they used to take part in/enjoy before the accident. The insurance company provides compensation for loss of enjoyment in such cases.

Calculating Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Calculating damages in a car accident claim involves evaluating the victim’s financial and non-financial losses. Insurance companies consider both economic and non-economic damages during their calculation.

Factors That Are Considered When Calculating Economic and Non-Economic Damages

  • Age and life expectancy: The age of the victim and their life expectancy are very relevant. Younger victims with longer life expectancies may face more years of economic and non-economic losses, which affects the compensation calculation.
  • Mitigation of damages: The victim’s efforts to mitigate their losses are vital. This effort involves taking reasonable steps to minimize the financial impact of the accident.
  • Jurisdictional caps and limits: Jurisdictions impose statutory limits on the amount of damages that can be awarded in some instances. The limits affect the final compensation amount, especially for non-economic damages.
  • Expert testimony: Insurance companies use opinions from medical professionals, vocational experts, economists, or others to determine compensation.          

Significance of Economic and Non-economic Damages in Car Accidents Claim

  • Compensation for tangible losses: Economic damages compensate for the tangible losses that victims incur in the accident.
  • Balancing equitable compensation: Victims enjoy equitable compensation when the insurance company compensate for their losses.
  • Recognition of intangible losses: Non-economic damages compensate for losses that cannot be measured in monetary terms. 

The Sum Up!

In conclusion, economic and non-economic damages create a foundation for fair compensation. Economic damages compensate for tangible financial losses, while non-economic damages acknowledge the victim’s intangible losses. 

If you find yourself in a situation like this, follow everything outlined in this article to triumph over this traumatic event.