How Trials Determine Non-Economic Damages

Personal Injury Blog

It is unfortunate, but few people are aware of the lasting effects of civil litigation. They mostly hear about the economic damages awarded to plaintiffs, which covers those damages with a monetary value such as medical bills, property damage, lost income, and other expenses caused by the injury.

However, one of the hard-to-pin-down areas of personal injury law is non-economic damages and how the courts determine the amounts for these types of situations. Non-economic damages are rarely awarded because they only apply when individuals suffer catastrophic losses (like the death of a loved one, the loss of mobility, or the loss of a limb).

Non-Economic Damages Focus On Pain & Suffering

When seeking non-economic damages, it is meant to compensate the physical pain, emotional damage or trauma, loss of enjoyment in life, and in some cases, loss of consortium. These are often grouped underneath the label for the combined damages of “pain and suffering.” For instance, if someone sustains a severe injury that results in loss of motor function, it could be argued that the plaintiff will suffer a lower quality of life—especially if they once enjoyed an active lifestyle.

Courts Must Consider Many Factors When Determining Non-Economic Damages

Cases differ and the juries handling them will too, meaning there is no standard for non-economic damages and how they are compensated. There is no hard evidence of medical bills or expenses associated with non-economic damages, so the decision is often based on severity and emotions.

Some of the things that may be considered is age of the victim, severity of the injury sustained, family involvement, lifestyle, and whether or not there is a state cap on non-economic damages. The courts have a challenging decision to place a monetary value on these damages, but the right evidence can help make a difference.

When seeking non-economic damages, having an experienced attorney on your side is important. Legal representation can put together a plan to help the courts decide the right amount of compensation associated with the pain and suffering the plaintiff experiences. At Handler, Henning & Rosenberg LLC, we go the extra mile because we know there’s more than just money at stake for victims. Economic and non-economic damages are just a part of the process. Obtaining justice is the ultimate goal.

Call us today to speak with a skilled legal team ready to help you.

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