What’s the Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages?
Recovering damages after suffering a personal injury can be tedious, especially if you’re doing it without legal assistance. Victims often wonder what losses are compensable in their case and, most importantly, how to calculate the total amount that’ll cover all damages.
One of the most common questions that OC personal injury lawyers get from such clients regards the differences between economic and non-economic damages. Here we break down each of these contrasts and discuss other types of damages you may qualify to collect, depending on the accident.
What Are Economic Damages?
Economic damages refer to the financial award you receive to compensate for tangible losses suffered from the accident. These damages are measurable and have a monetary value.
Some types of economic damages common in personal injury claims include:
- Current and any future medical treatment expenses
- Cost for rehabilitative care
- Lost wages due to incapacitation by the injury
- Damage to property
- Household services like cleaning and laundry
- Other out-of-pocket expenses such as transport to and from the hospital
- Burial and funeral expenses in case of wrongful death
- Salary the deceased would have received till retirement.
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
Besides the damages that can be seen with the human eye, personal injuries can also result in intangible losses. They don’t have an obvious monetary value but they affect you as much as the economic damages.
Calculating your total non-economic damages may require the intervention of a personal injury attorney to use either the per-diem or multiplier methods. Their goal is to see that you’re fully compensated for any and all damages caused by a negligent party.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain and suffering
- Loss of enjoyment in activities like hobbies
- Reputation damage
- Emotional anguish
- Loss of consortium
- Loss of love and companionship in case of a wrongful death
- Among others
Without professional legal help, there’s a risk of underestimating your non-monetary damages. The insurance company might also try to convince you to accept a lower offer than your damages are worth.
It’s best to review your claim and the insurance’s offer with an attorney before signing anything.
Other Damages You Can Recover After a Personal Injury
Though rare, some personal injury claims qualify for punitive damages as well. This amount does not reimburse any losses from the accident but instead, punishes the defendant for egregious negligence.
In Oklahoma, the amount of punitive damages you can receive is nothing more than $100,000 or the total value of your damages, whichever is less.
Learn More from a Personal Injury Lawyer
At AMA Law, we have recovered more than $100 million in damages for different personal injury victims. Of course every case is unique and not all claims end up the same. The best way to know how much you can receive may be by scheduling a case evaluation with a professional.
Call a personal injury lawyer in Oklahoma at 405-708-7789 or fill out the contact form below and someone will get in touch.