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Exploring Non-Economic Damages in Personal Injury Cases


Non-economic damages refer to compensation awarded for intangible and non-monetary losses in personal injury cases. These damages aim to compensate the victim for the physical and emotional pain, suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life resulting from the accident or injury. Unlike economic damages, which are quantifiable monetary losses such as medical bills and lost wages, non-economic damages are subjective. They can vary greatly depending on the circumstances of the case.

Understanding non-economic damages is crucial for individuals pursuing personal injury claims as they represent a significant component of the overall compensation awarded. While economic damages can be calculated based on tangible expenses and losses, non-economic damages account for the emotional and psychological toll an injury can have on the victim's life. Failing to consider non-economic damages adequately can result in a diminished compensation award that does not fully account for the extent of the victim's suffering and loss.

Given the complexities involved in assessing non-economic damages and negotiating with insurance companies, individuals involved in personal injury claims need to seek the help of a lawyer. An attorney can thoroughly evaluate the case, accurately determine the appropriate amount of damages, and advocate on behalf of the injured party to pursue fair and just compensation. With their legal knowledge and experience handling similar cases, a lawyer can navigate the process, negotiate settlements, or represent the client in court if necessary.

Residents of Kansas City needing legal assistance for personal injury claims can contact Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. at (888) 398-2277.

Understanding Types of Non-Economic Damages

In personal injury claims, understanding the full scope of damages is essential for pursuing fair compensation for the injured party.

Three primary types of non-economic damages include the following:

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering encompass the physical and mental distress experienced by an individual as a result of an injury caused by another party's negligence or wrongful conduct.

Examples of pain and suffering include:

  • Physical discomfort
  • Emotional anguish
  • Mental distress
  • Overall deterioration of the victim's quality of life

Various factors influence pain and suffering calculations, including the severity and duration of the pain experienced, the extent of the injury, the impact on the victim's daily activities and enjoyment of life, and the prognosis for recovery. Factors such as age, pre-existing medical conditions, and the nature of the accident or injury can also affect the compensation awarded for pain and suffering.

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress refers to the psychological harm and mental anguish suffered by an individual due to the traumatic experience of an injury or accident.

Examples of emotional distress include:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Fear
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

Proving emotional distress in a personal injury claim can be challenging, as it often relies on subjective evidence and may not manifest in physical symptoms. However, medical records, testimony from mental health professionals, and documentation of the impact on the victim's daily functioning and relationships can all contribute to substantiating a claim for emotional distress damages.

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium refers to the deprivation of the benefits and companionship that a close relationship, such as marriage, provides due to the injury or death of a loved one. While spouses typically bring loss of consortium claims, children, parents, or other family members who have suffered a loss of companionship and support as a result of the injury can also pursue them.

When calculating loss of consortium damages, factors such as the nature and duration of the relationship, the degree of emotional and financial dependence, and the impact of the injury on the relationship are all considered. Additionally, the age and health of the injured party and the surviving family members and any pre-existing issues in the relationship may also influence the amount of compensation awarded for loss of consortium.

Challenges and Strategies in Recovering Non-Economic Damages

Quantifying non-economic damages poses significant challenges due to their subjective nature. Unlike economic damages, which have clear monetary values tied to medical bills and lost wages, non-economic damages are more abstract and difficult to quantify. Factors such as the severity of the injury, its impact on the victim's quality of life, and subjective perceptions of pain and suffering vary from case to case, making it challenging to arrive at a precise monetary figure for compensation.

A lawyer can develop effective strategies for presenting evidence and arguments to support the full extent of non-economic damages suffered by the victim. From gathering documentation and expert testimony to negotiating with insurance companies and advocating for the client's rights in court, legal representation is crucial in helping victims seek fair and just compensation for their injuries and losses.

Contact Bertram & Graf, L.L.C. in Kansas City today to discuss your legal options. Call us at (888) 398-2277 or reach out online.