If you have been injured, or a loved one has been killed, and you believe someone else is responsible, you may be considering filing a personal injury lawsuit. In personal injury cases, there are two types of damages you can typically recover: economic or non-economic damages.
What Are Economic and Non-Economic Damages in Personal Injury Cases?
Common personal injury cases include:
- Car accidents
- Trucking accidents
- Motorcycle accidents
- Bicycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Premise liability, such as slips and falls and dog bites
- Wrongful death
In one of these cases, you may be entitled to receive compensatory damages. These typically come in the form of economic and non-economic damages. You may also hear them referred to as general or special damages. In addition to economic and non-economic damages, there are also punitive damages.
So what’s the difference between economic and non-economic damages?
Economic damages, or economic losses, are monetary compensation. This may include:
- Medical bills
- Money for future medical care
- Physical therapy bills
- Funeral costs
- Property loss, such as a damaged car
- Loss of income
- Lost earning capacity
Non-economic damages, or non-economic losses, are abstract. They are often more difficult to put a dollar amount on. However, that does not mean they are less important or valuable than economic damages. Non-economic damages may include:
- Emotional pain and suffering
- Mental pain and suffering
- Loss of companionship
- Diminished quality of life
- Loss of enjoyment and happiness
- Damage to reputation
Some states put caps on non-economic damages. Texas does in some instances. For example, medical malpractice a claimant’s non-economic damages are limited to $250,000 if recovering from a single healthcare institution. On the other hand, the person filing the suit can only recover a total of $500,000 if the judgment is against more than one healthcare provider.
There may also be caps on punitive damages from a medical malpractice case. Punitive damages are those awarded to punish the guilty party. In Texas, a plaintiff can either get $200,000 of punitive damages or recover twice the amount of economic damages in addition to non-economic damages. This cannot exceed $750,000.
Do I Need a Personal Injury Lawyer to Get the Money I Deserve?
An experienced, capable personal injury lawyer will have the best chance of getting you what you deserve, whether it is economic or non-economic damages. It’s impossible to put a number or dollar value on your pain, suffering and loss. However, if you or someone you has suffered injury or death to due someone else’s negligence or recklessness, you deserve compensation. Compensation may not reverse what was done to you or replace someone you love, but it may help you move forward.
Personal injury lawyer Amy VanDeLoo of the Plano law firm, The VanDeLoo Firm, will work hard to recover all damages owed to you. She has a broad range of experience and success in personal injuries lawsuits, ranging from car and motorcycle accidents to wrongful death and premise liability. If you have a personal injury suit on your hands and live in Allen, Frisco, McKinney or Plano, contact the VanDeLoo Firm at 972-200-5080 today.