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Economic vs Non-Economic Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits

By Greg Kohn

If you get injured in a car accident, you might be able to pursue a claim for your financial losses and your intangible losses like pain and suffering. This blog will explain the economic vs. non-economic damages in personal injury lawsuits. A New Jersey personal injury attorney could handle your case so that you can focus on getting better.

You will need to prove the legal liability of the at-fault party. A car accident lawyer can help you hold the negligent party accountable for your injuries and other losses.

Economic Damages After a Car Accident

Economic damages are the financial losses a person experiences after getting hurt in a car crash, like medical bills and lost wages. It is generally easier to calculate and measure the amount of economic losses because there tends to be documentation like medical bills and payroll records that quantify the amount of these damages.

Let’s take a look at some of the common types of economic losses a person can have after getting hurt in a car crash:

  • Medical expenses to treat the wounds suffered in the collision. These losses can include things like the ambulance, emergency room, x-rays, diagnostic procedures, lab tests, blood transfusions, physical therapy, intensive care unit, surgery, prescription drugs, pain management services, doctors, and hospitals.
  • Lost wages. Severe injuries usually prevent a person from working while they recuperate from their wounds and medical treatments.
  • Future lost wages. Full recovery might not be possible after devastating injuries from a car accident. If ongoing impairment prevents a person from making as much money as before, they might have a claim for future lost wages. For example, a back injury might limit the amount of weight a person can lift or how long they can sit or stand, which can impact their earning capacity.

Both economic damages and non-economic damages can result in monetary compensation in your injury claim.

Non-Economic Damages After Getting Injured in a New Jersey Collision

Even though it can be more challenging to measure non-economic losses, also called intangible damages, these are legitimate losses for which you might be able to pursue compensation from the defendant. Some common intangible losses after a car accident include the following:

  • Pain and suffering. This category refers to the physical discomfort and emotional distress of the accident and your injuries. Merely getting your medical bills paid does not adequately compensate you for these things.
  • Other intangible damages. Damages for disfigurement can include compensation for extensive scars, amputations, burns, and other things that affect a person’s appearance. Many people develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after witnessing or experiencing a horrific motor vehicle crash, particularly one that involves life-changing or fatal injuries. Loss of enjoyment of life is a category that deals with the emotional consequences when a person can no longer perform activities they enjoyed before the crash.

Also, when a person dies from car accident injuries, their family might be able to file a wrongful death claim or lawsuit that seeks additional compensation for the legal beneficiaries.

A New Jersey personal injury attorney could help you go after the compensation you deserve from the party who caused the car accident through negligence. You can reach out to us today for a free consultation.

About the Author
Greg Kohn is a partner at Nagel Rice and specializes in complex civil litigation cases, including professional malpractice, personal injury, class actions, wrongful death, products liability, and commercial litigation.  He has extensive experience representing clients in both state and federal court. Greg has tried many jury trials to verdict and has recovered over $50 million in settlements and verdicts in all types of personal injury matters including automobile accidents, wrongful death cases, slip and falls, and other catastrophic injury cases. Greg also handles medical malpractice cases, involving misdiagnoses, wrongful birth, and delayed cancer diagnosis. If you have questions regarding this article, you can contact Greg here.