Personal injury compensation is generally broken down into two types of damages: economic and non-economic. Damages are those that can be calculated and expressed in a concrete number, such as medical expenses, count as economic damages. Non-economic damages include those that are hard to put a worth or price tags on, such as pain and suffering, but can have a severe impact on your life.
Non-economic damages can vary from victim to victim, but generally, they include:
- Pain and suffering, from either physical pain or the emotional pain suffered as a result of your accident or incident
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Permanent disfigurement
- Loss of companionship
You will need to explain to your attorney how your life has been impacted since the accident. Loved ones can serve as witnesses who will testify that since your accident you have been experiencing psychological or emotional changes such as an inability to sleep, lack of concentration, mood changes, a change in personality or changes in appetite, and weight. Doctors and psychologists know that when the body is injured the mind is also affected, and non-economic damages are intended to help you get the resources you need.
Economic damages are those that can be calculated, and a final number can be provided to a judge. These are calculated based on the following factors:
Medical bills and expenses
If your physician believes that you will need continued care then your damages can also include future medical expenses. If you need physical therapy for an extended period of time you don’t want to wait to file your suit. Instead, your doctor can provide a letter outlining how long you will need treatment, what it is for and why it is necessary. Medical expenses include the ambulance ride, hospital bills, and any outpatient services that you will need including follow-up care. The court will look at the total amount of medical expenses you have accrued or are facing in the future and decide on an award amount to cover those expenses.
Loss of wages
Loss of wages includes not only the amount of money that you have not earned because you missed work, but future earnings you would have had had you been able to continue going to work. If an accident or injury has diminished your ability to earn money then you will want to provide your attorney with proof of your hourly wages or salary. Before awarding damages, the judge will consider your age, life expectancy, the field that you work in, your skills, your earning capacity and what training will be necessary in order for you to work in another field, if you are now incapable of working in the field you were employed in. For example, if an injury has left you paralyzed and you worked in manual labor, then the loss of future earnings will be calculated when determining your compensation.
Hiring A Personal Injury Attorney
Hiring a personal injury lawyer improves your chances of recouping lost wages and other expenses as a result of your injury or accident. The attorneys representing the insurance company do not want you to receive the full compensation you deserve because it means that they lose money. But you deserve to not worry about bills when they are at fault. So hire an attorney right away so you can get the compensation you deserve.