Non-economic injuries are frequently called “pain and suffering.” They are intended to compensate an accident victim for the physical and emotional pain suffered in an accident. The amount of non-economic damages awarded will vary depending on the injuries but can be substantial. In New York City, non-economic damages are capped at $250,000 if it is a medical malpractice claim. Otherwise, the amount of economic and non-economic damages is not limited.
Victims can also recover economic damages. When these damages are combined with non-economic compensation, the total amount can be quite substantial. In addition, if the case is based on particularly egregious types of negligence, punitive damages can be requested. Punitive damages are meant to punish the wrongdoer and prevent similar actions in the future. They are usually large, but the amount is dictated by the court or jury. If you have been injured in an accident, it is essential to speak with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you recover the total amount of compensation you are entitled to.
What is the Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages?
Both non-economic and economic damages are compensatory because they reimburse the injured person. They are different from one another based on several factors. Economic damages are typically incurred immediately after the accident and are paid to compensate the injured person for financial losses.
Non-economic injuries are more subjective and may not have an exact dollar amount attached to them. In addition, they may not manifest until long after the accident occurred. These types of damages are intended to compensate the victim for intangible injuries such as physical pain and suffering as well as emotional and psychological trauma. They can be much higher than economic damages.
Pain and Suffering Damages
The following are considered pain and suffering damages:
- Pain and suffering damages: The physical, psychological and emotional anguish caused by the injuries suffered in the accident are recoverable.
- Disfigurement: Damage to your appearance caused by the accident can lead to scarring or the like, which can cause extreme anxiety.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: This is the loss of the ability to participate in activities that you once enjoyed due to the injuries suffered in the accident.
- Loss of consortium: Compensation for the loss of companionship and intimacy suffered by a spouse or partner due to the injuries sustained by the victim can be claimed.
- Damage to one’s reputation: This can be caused by the fear, anxiety and trauma suffered as a result of the accident.
- Humiliation: Some individuals feel ravaged by the accident and humiliated by scars or infirmities.
- Loss of one’s sex life: Injuries can make it harder to resume the intimacy an individual once had. Medications for pain may interfere with their physical appearance and take a toll on their active and healthy sex life. Basically, the loss of the ability to participate in sexual activities that were once enjoyed due to the injuries suffered in the accident can eliminate how the injured person looks at themself.
The Amount of Non-Economic Damages Varies
The amount of non-economic damages awarded will vary depending on many factors such as the severity of the injuries, the age of the victim and the prognosis for recovery.
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you determine the value of your non-economic damages and fight for the compensation you deserve.
How are Non-Economic Damages Pursued?
If you have been injured in an accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your non-economic damages but not through your insurance carrier. To pursue non-economic damages, you must be able to go outside the insurance system in New York State. An experienced personal injury attorney can help you pursue the compensation you deserve. Here are some common ways that non-economic damages are sought:
- Filing a personal injury lawsuit: This is the most common way to pursue non-economic damages. In a personal injury lawsuit, you will need to prove that the other party was at fault for the accident and that your injuries were caused by the accident.
- Filing for workers’ compensation: If you have been injured at work, you may be able to file for workers’ compensation. Workers’ compensation will typically only cover your medical expenses and lost wages. However, you may be able to negotiate a settlement for your non-economic injuries.
- Filing for Social Security disability: If your injuries have caused you to become disabled, you may be able to file for Social Security disability. Social Security disability will provide you with a monthly income to help offset the costs of your injuries.
- Filing for veteran’s benefits: If you have been injured in an accident and you are a former member of the military, you may be able to file for veteran’s benefits. Veteran’s benefits can help you cover the costs of your medical expenses and lost wages.
How an Attorney Can Help
An experienced personal injury attorney can help you navigate the claims process and ensure you receive the total compensation you are entitled to. If you have been injured in an accident, contact a personal injury attorney today to schedule a free consultation.