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Non-Economic Damages

Non-Economic Damages

Non-Economic DamagesSome types of damages, or losses, are easy to quantify. For example, you know how much you owe in medical expenses because you receive a bill. You know how much money you lost in wages because your paycheck is short. These are economic damages.

However, Texas law recognizes the right of accident victims to recover compensation for the full extent of their losses, even if it is difficult to quantify all of them. Below, we explain what non-economic damages are and how to calculate them.

What Is the Purpose of Personal Injury Claims?

What Is the Purpose of Personal Injury Claims? Personal injury law is based on the idea that accident victims have a right to recover compensation for the losses they’ve suffered. If another person was negligent, the victim might be able to recover compensation for both their economic and non-economic damages from the negligent party.

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What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages compensate for injuries and personal losses that are not easily quantified.

Such damages may compensate victims for losses including but not limited to:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental pain
  • Emotional anguish
  • Blindness
  • Physical disfigurement and scarring
  • Physical impairment
  • Loss of fertility
  • Loss of sexual function
  • Loss of a limb or amputation
  • Loss of mobility
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of quality of life
  • Injury to reputation
  • Inconvenience
  • Loss of consortium
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of society

Non-economic damages encompass any other “nonpecuniary loss” other than exemplary (punitive) damages. The law recognizes that victims may experience a variety of mental, emotional, and physical consequences that stem from a personal injury but that are not financial in nature. This is where non-economic damages come in.

Other Types of Damages in a Personal Injury Case

In addition to non-economic damages, other damages can be awarded in personal injury cases. Economic damages are those that can be easily quantified, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and loss of earning capacity.

Exemplary or punitive damages are those intended to punish the wrongdoer rather than provide compensation for the victim.

How to Calculate Non-Economic Damages

One of the most difficult aspects of non-economic damages is calculating them. Non-economic damages are subjective in nature. There is no set formula to determine the value of these losses.

Some courts multiply the amount of economic damages by a variable to get a figure for non-economic damages using the multiplier method. Some Texas jurors are instructed to use their sound discretion, common knowledge, and sense of justice to determine the value of non-economic damages.

Additionally, such damages typically must be tied to an underlying physical injury and based on the facts and not simply made to punish the defendant.

What Factors May Affect the Value of Your Claim?

Factors that can affect the potential value of non-economic injuries include:

  • The type and severity of the injury
  • The recovery period
  • The type of medical treatment necestatssary
  • The impact the injury has on the victim’s life, enjoyment, and relationships
  • Whether there is evidence the plaintiff will continue to experience negative consequences in the future

Unlike other states, there is no maximum amount that a jury can award for pain, suffering, and other non-economic damages for most personal injury claims. However, there is a damage cap for medical malpractice cases filed in Texas.

An experienced personal injury lawyer will work diligently to secure proof of non-economic damages to increase the value of the victim’s claim.

How Do You Prove Non-Economic Damages?

There are several ways that you can prove your claim for non-economic damages, including:

  • Keeping a pain journal in which you track your pain, symptoms, and feelings each day following the accident
  • Having coworkers, friends, and family testify about how your life has changed since the accident
  • Calling your primary care physician to testify about the reports you have made regarding your pain, anguish, and distress
  • Having a medical expert testify about the type of injuries you suffered and your reports of pain being consistent with the type of injury
  • Receipts that show you have purchased pain medications and other items to help relieve symptoms of your injury

An experienced lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to substantiate your claim for non-economic damages.

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How Can an Experienced Austin Personal Injury Lawyer Help You Claim Non-Economic Damages?

Your non-economic damage claim may comprise a substantial portion of your damage award. An experienced personal injury lawyer in Austin can help with this aspect of your claim by talking to you in detail about how the accident has affected your life and who has noticed changes in your life since the accident.

We are committed to helping you recover full and fair compensation following an accident caused by someone else’s negligence. We encourage you to reach out to a qualified personal injury attorney for help recovering compensation. Contact us at (512) 982-9328 to get a free consultation with our experienced attorneys at FVFV Law.

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