Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages in a Car Accident in D.C.
In Maryland, car accident victims can file a personal injury claim for compensation if someone else is at fault for the crash. The law allows victims to seek money for both financial and non-monetary losses. These two types of compensation are called economic and non-economic damages.
Most people understand that car accidents have financial consequences. At the most basic level, there’s the cost of vehicle damage. Add on the astronomical cost of medical bills, rehabilitation, prescription medications, and lost income, and you could face hundreds of thousands of dollars in bills you can’t afford to pay. That doesn’t include money for the pain and emotional stress you’ve endured — but a personal injury claim can account for that and more.
Keep reading to learn more about economic and non-economic damages from Trollinger Law LLC. For personalized advice from an experienced car accident lawyer, call or contact us today for a free consultation.
What is the Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages?
Economic damages are the financial losses that you incur due to an accident. They are losses that can be calculated easily by looking at bills, invoices, receipts, pay stubs, and income tax returns.
Conversely, non-economic damages compensate you for intangible, personal losses that don’t have a specific dollar value. Unlike economic damages, calculating non-economic damages involves a more subjective consideration of the impact of the collision and resulting injuries on your life.
Types of Economic Damages
Examples of economic damages you could recover in a car accident claim include:
- Medical bills
- Rehabilitation costs
- Costs for long-term care, such as home health aides, assistive medical equipment, and home modifications
- Lost wages
- Loss of earning capacity
Types of non-economic damages that you might be compensated for after a car accident include:
- Physical pain
- Emotional trauma and distress
- Reduced quality of life
- Reduced life expectancy
- Scarring and disfigurement
How Can I Recover Non-Economic Damages?
Most car accident claims are settled with the insurance company long before filing a lawsuit is necessary. When negotiating a settlement with an insurer, you can ask for compensation for the personal and emotional losses that you suffered in the wreck.
But let’s say your case goes to trial. If the jury finds in your favor, their verdict will include compensation for the non-economic damages you proved you sustained. Maryland has a cap on non-economic damages for personal injury cases, which increases by $15,000 annually.
How Can I Calculate Non-Economic Damages?
Calculating non-economic damages can be more challenging than economic damages. How do you put a price on your pain? How can you quantify the impact of post-traumatic stress on your life, both now and in the future? These damages are more subjective and require an in-depth evaluation and understanding of what you’ve been through. An experienced car accident lawyer can collect evidence that demonstrates the impact of your injuries from medical experts, vocational specialists, financial planners, and your friends and family.
How a Maryland Car Accident Lawyer Can Help
After a car accident, an attorney can place an appropriate value on your case and negotiate for maximum compensation from the insurance company. Insurers work hard to minimize payouts, but an experienced lawyer can protect your claim so you don’t end up with a lowball settlement that doesn’t cover the extent of your injuries.
Depending on the facts of your case, you could be entitled to economic damages, non-economic damages, or both. The best way to find out is by talking to a trusted car accident lawyer at Trollinger Law LLC. Call or contact us for a free case review.