Damages refer to the losses you incur because of the negligent actions of another party. For example, car accidents may result in physical injuries, medical bills, lost wages, and emotional distress. These are all examples of damages.
Personal injury cases generally include damages for monetary losses, as well as pain and suffering. The financial losses incurred by the injured party are referred to as economic damages.
What Types of Economic Damages Can I Recover for a Personal Injury Claim?
Damages for economic losses are compensatory damages. These damages compensate an accident victim for actual financial losses. Examples of economic damages you could receive for a personal injury case include, but are not limited to:
Cost of Medical Care and Treatment
The damages awarded for medical care and treatment include a variety of expenses, such as:
- Bills from physicians, surgeons, and specialists
- Hospital, emergency room, and ambulance bills
- Costs of therapies, including occupational, vocational, mental health, and physical therapies
- Over-the-counter medications and prescription drugs
- Cost of medical equipment, such as crutches, slings, wheelchairs, bedside toilets, etc.
- Lab and diagnostic tests
- Treatments and surgical procedures
Prompt medical attention after an injury is crucial for a personal injury claim. The insurance company may argue that the accident did not cause your injury because you did not see a doctor until weeks after the alleged injury.
Loss of Income and Benefits
If accident injuries prevent you from working, you can claim damages for loss of income. Loss of income claims include, but are not limited to:
- Hourly pay
- Overtime compensation
- Paid vacation time and other benefits
- Future lost wages
- Decrease in earning capacity
- Lost earnings from self-employment
You will need proof of your lost income to recover compensation for these damages. Proof of income may include copies of pay stubs, tax returns, and income statements.
Your employer may need to write a letter providing your current income and the amount of time missed from work. Additionally, your doctor may need to provide a statement explaining why your injuries prevented you from performing your work duties.
Future loss of income and decreased earning potential are more challenging to prove. Our legal team may consult a financial expert to assist in estimating the value of future lost earnings. When calculating future damages, an expert considers several factors, including your age, career, experience, skills, and education.
In addition to medical bills and lost wages, you may incur considerable out-of-pocket costs related to the accident and your injury. You may be entitled to reimbursement for these expenses.
Examples of out-of-pocket expenses may include:
- Paying someone to help with household chores and childcare
- The cost of personal care to assist with activities of daily living
- Travel expenses to and from medical appointments, including mileage, rideshare fees, and public transportation costs
- Modifying your car or home because of a permanent disability or impairment caused by the accident
You cannot recover reimbursement for these costs without proof. Keep copies of all bills and receipts for out-of-pocket expenses. Your doctor may need to provide a statement explaining why the expense was necessary.
How Much Are My Economic Damages Worth?
The total of all your financial losses is the value of your economic damages. However, insurance companies may argue whether some expenses were necessary and reasonable. The company may also dispute the value of future economic damages.
You can help increase the chance of receiving reimbursement for all financial losses by keeping detailed records. Our legal team works closely with you and your physicians to document your damages. When necessary, we consult experts to obtain additional evidence to support your claim.
Can I Receive Punitive Damages for a Personal Injury?
Punitive damages are a separate category of damages. These damages are only awarded in a small number of personal injury cases.
Economic damages compensate you for losses you incurred because of the at-fault party’s conduct. Punitive damages punish the at-fault party for gross negligence and intentional conduct.
Does My Economic Damages Impact the Value of Non-Economic Damages?
In addition to receiving compensation for your monetary losses, you may also receive compensation for the pain and suffering caused by the at-fault party’s negligent conduct.
Examples of non-economic damages include:
- Physical pain
- Reduced quality of life
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Mental anguish
- Impairments and disabilities
- Emotional distress
There is not a standard formula for calculating the value of these damages. However, many insurance companies multiply the economic damages by a number between 1.5 and five to calculate the value of your non-economic damages. The more economic losses you have, the higher your non-economic losses may total.
Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Florida Personal Injury Lawyers
You should receive fair compensation for all damages caused by an injury or accident. Our Florida personal injury attorneys fight to get you the money you deserve. Call our law firm now to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.