If another person’s negligence injured you, Arizona law entitles you to seek compensation for your accident-related injuries and losses. In legal terms, the compensation you’ll get for these losses is called “damages.”
In personal injury lawsuits, courts may award the injured party compensatory damages. This money compensates injured people for their economic and non-economic losses. In rare cases, courts may also award punitive damages – which are meant to punish the defendant. These damages are only awarded when the at-fault party’s conduct was malicious or especially reckless.
Economic damages compensate you for losses that have a specific cost. These damages are easy to prove since records, like bills or receipts, are available as direct evidence of your loss. Economic losses include medical expenses and lost wages. So what are non-economic damages?
Definition of Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages compensate you for the effects of your injury that are non-monetary and intangible. While economic losses are verifiable and objective, non-economic losses are subjective and more difficult to prove.
Because non-economic damages are more difficult to prove, the amount of non-economic damages you may be awarded in any injury case depends heavily on just how much your day-to-day life is impacted by your injuries and what sort of evidence or witnesses can be gathered to help provide proof of the losses you have suffered.
Examples of Non-Economic Damages
You could recover many types of non-economic damages in a personal injury claim. Non-economic damages are awarded in all types of personal injury cases. You could recover these damages if you suffered an injury in a car, motorcycle, truck, or slip and fall accident. Non-economic damages are also recoverable in wrongful death cases.
Non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of companionship and society
- Loss of consortium
- Mental anguish
- Disability, scarring, or disfigurement
How Are Non-Economic Damages Calculated?
Calculating the fair and reasonable value of your non-economic losses in a personal injury case is challenging. Insurance carriers don’t want to pay more money than they must and will likely challenge any demand you make for non-economic losses. An attorney experienced in dealing with insurance companies and skilled in presenting evidence of non-economic losses is crucial to your successful personal injury claim.
So how do you calculate non-economic losses since they are difficult to measure and verify? One method of calculating non-economic losses, primarily in situations where the injuries are less severe and your day-to-day life is not impacted for very long, is to apply a multiplier to the number of your economic losses. For example, take your economic damages and multiply them by a factor of 1.5 – 2.5 to come up with a value for your non-economic losses.
An alternative way to calculate your non-economic losses is the per diem method. An amount would be selected based on the severity of your injuries and multiplied by the number of days it took you to recover.
Ultimately though, no two injury cases are ever perfectly alike, and an appropriate measure of non-economic damages needs to be done on a case-by-case basis. Consulting an experienced personal injury attorney is important to help determine what an appropriate amount of non-economic damages may be for your specific case.
Contact an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney in Phoenix, AZ Today
If you have suffered substantial non-economic losses due to another person’s negligence in Phoenix, Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer has the knowledge and experience to build a solid case on your behalf. Our firm works with an extensive network of legal and non-legal professionals to cover every issue in your case and pursue the full and fair compensation you deserve. To learn more, contact Silkman Law Firm Injury & Accident Lawyer today for a free consultation.