What Are Non-Economic Damages?

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

If you have suffered a personal injury in an accident of some kind, then it is likely that you have incurred many costs because of the injury. Between the medical bills and the physical pain, getting injured in an accident is costly in numerous ways. When calculating the potential award in a personal injury case, you must not leave out the potential of non-economic damages. 

Non-economic damages can be significant in a personal injury case. If you have specific questions about your own personal injury case, then it is important that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney for legal advice.

 Types of Damages Available in Personal Injury Cases

Damages are a sum of money that is meant to compensate a victim in a personal injury case for the financial, physical, and emotional costs of their injuries. There are three main types of damages that are available in personal injury cases: economic, non-economic, and punitive damages

Economic damages: These damages compensate for financial losses after an injury. They are easily calculated because there is direct proof of the expenses. Economic damages include things such as medical bills, lost wages, and property damage. 

Non-economic damages: These damages make up for the non-financial difficulties felt by the injury victim after their accident. These damages are not as easy to add up because they are personal and subjective. Pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of enjoyment of life are examples of non-economic damages.

Punitive damages: These damages are not meant to actually compensate the victim for anything. These damages are awarded to punish the defendant and deter others from engaging in conduct that the court finds excessively egregious.

Common Types of Non-Economic Damages

Florida residents can recover several types of non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit.

Some of the most common types of non-economic damages include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Loss of life enjoyment
  • Loss of consortium
  • Inconvenience

This is only a partial list of the types of non-economic damages that you may recover after another person injures you. It is important to include all potential forms of non-economic damages in your calculation for damages. You are most likely to receive non-economic damages if you suffer permanent and/or life-altering injuries because of an accident. 

How Courts Determine the Proper Amount of Non-Economic Damages

Since there aren’t simple bills and expenses to calculate any potential non-economic damages in a personal injury case, the court will have to answer a variety of questions to determine if non-economic damages should be awarded in your particular case. Some of the common questions that a court will seek to answer include:

  • How significant were the victim’s injuries, and how long did it take them to recover?
  • Do the injuries prevent the victim from playing with his or her children?
  • Do the injuries prevent the victim from doing common work around the house?
  • Have the injuries led to major inconvenience?
  • Did the injuries alter the victim’s physical appearance, causing them humiliation or embarrassment?
  • Were the injuries caused by the defendant’s malice?

These are just some of the questions that a court will ask when trying to determine non-economic damages. If you are curious about what your potential payout would be related to non-economic damages, then it is important to speak to an experienced personal injury attorney as soon as possible.

Is There a Cap on Non-Economic Damages in Florida?

There is no cap on non-economic damages for most personal injury cases. A 2017 ruling by the Florida Supreme Court declared such caps unconstitutional. 

However, there are caps for non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases. The caps on damages vary based on the type of defendant you are filing a claim against. If you have a medical malpractice claim, we are also available to help you. 

How Do I Know If I Qualify for Non-Economic Damages?

To qualify for damages, you must be able to show that the negligence or recklessness of another caused your injuries.

If you cannot prove that your injuries were because of another’s conduct, you likely won’t be able to qualify for any damages at all. 

The general rule of thumb is that the more severe an accident is, the more likely it is that you will be awarded non-economic damages. The long-term effects of an accident are what the court is looking for when determining whether to award non-economic damages.

Get a Free Consultation Today to Have Your Questions Answered

It is highly recommended that you speak to an experienced personal injury attorney if you have been injured in an accident and aren’t sure what to do next. It is important to understand all of the potential damages that you may be entitled to because of your accident. We offer a free consultation to have your case reviewed and assessed by a seasoned professional.