Overcoming a personal injury can take serious financial and emotional tolls on victims and their loved ones. Personal injury cases generally seek compensation for a client’s economic loss, such as medical bills.
But what about non-economic damages? These are damages that don’t come with a price tag, and victims can seek compensation for them as well.
For anyone involved in a personal injury claim, it’s important they know what non-economic damages are and the different ways to prove them in court.
Damages Defined: Punitive, Economic, and Non-Economic
From a legal standpoint, 3 core types of damages exist:
Punitive damages are fees imposed as a penalty for significantly egregious, negligent behavior. They are rare but can be awarded to the plaintiff alongside any economic damages.
Economic damages are quantifiable, matter-of-fact losses that a victim takes on following a loss or injury. Simply put, economic damages are damages you can put a price tag on. These can range anywhere from hospital expenses to lost wages and property loss.
Non-economic damages are those that might be difficult to quantify or place a precise dollar amount on. These can include emotional pain and suffering, mental anguish, reputation damage, scarring/permanent disfigurement, and a general loss of enjoyment.
Unfortunately, insurers and other parties may attempt to diminish the value and importance of non-economic damages.
Having a strong argument with corresponding evidence to back your non-economic damages is critical if you want to prevail in court.
4 Ways to Prove Non-Economic Damages
Following are 4 top strategies that can help prove non-economic damages in your personal injury case:
When you’re seeking compensation for pain and suffering, a journal can be used as a written record of your day-to-day emotional distress and other symptoms. Journals help paint a picture for the jury of how your injury resulted in a disruption of your daily life.
2. Medical and Psychological Evaluations
Medical and psychological evaluations from accredited health professionals can be excellent tools to support your claim. Written reports that highlight the damage suffered as a result of your personal injury are important for building a strong case in your favor.
3. Testimony from Others
Individuals involved in personal injury claims often forget about the importance of personal testimonies to help prove non-economic damages.
Direct testimony from friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers can be particularly beneficial and strengthen your claim. These statements can give a jury insight into how your life was affected. The more individuals who attest to your pain and suffering, the more likely it is that a jury will support your claim.
Oftentimes, non-economic damages seek to compensate for physical disfigurement or scarring after an injury. Photographs can help to show the effects of the injury and establish a “before and after” visual. These images can be key in proving a diminished quality of life.
Other Factors to Consider
After hearing your case, a jury will review all of your evidence for non-economic damages before making a decision.
Additional questions the court or jury might pose include:
- How severe is your pain and suffering?
- Are the damages temporary or long-term?
- What was your total financial burden?
- How is your daily life affected?
- Did the damage interrupt personal or workplace relationships?
Each of these factors can influence the total compensation you’re eligible to receive.
Seeking Non-Economic Damages in Northern New Mexico
Hunt Law represents clients in Santa Fe, Albuquerque, Los Alamos, Las Vegas, Rio Rancho, Roswell, and all across Northern New Mexico.
Our team of dedicated attorneys specializes in medical malpractice, wrongful death, catastrophic injury, and personal injury cases. To learn more, contact us today.