If you have been seriously hurt in a car accident, you know how your injuries affect you and your family in many ways. There are, of course, your medical expenses and the costs of rehabilitative treatment. There is also your lost income from the time you are unable to return to work. In the case of a catastrophic accident, you may never be able to return to your previous position. Beyond these losses, you also suffer from pain and other physical and mental symptoms that can affect your life in untold ways. You may not be able to enjoy your favorite hobbies, to dance with your spouse, to hold your grandchild.
While your life will never be the same, the goal of a personal injury lawsuit is to, as much as possible, restore you to the economic position you were in before the accident. This means you must be compensated for your losses. If your compensation is going to be fair, it must take all your losses into account.
Personal injury law refers to these losses as damages. In motor vehicle accident cases, there are two main categories: economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages, sometimes called “special damages,” consist of purely monetary losses, such as your medical bills, rehabilitative costs and lost wages. These can be documented by collecting your bills and costs associated with the accident.
However, it’s also important to calculate how your injury will continue to create economic damages for you in the future. For instance, if your accident has left you permanently injured, and you are unable to continue in the career you had before the accident, your income will be affected for the rest of your life. When seeking compensation, you should have a sense of how much this income loss will cost you over the rest of your working life.
Non-economic damages are meant to quantify the way your physical injury has affected your quality of life. These can include pain and suffering, disability, loss of enjoyment of life, and your spouse’s loss of your services.
It can be hard to put a number on these losses. No one likes to think of their enjoyment of life as a dollar amount. But the loss you have suffered due to your physical injury is very real. It affects your life and the lives of everyone in your family. If you do not recover compensation for it, your recovery is not sufficient or fair.
An experienced personal injury lawyer can talk to you and your family about the ways your accident has affected your life and guide you through your options for recovering compensation.