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What Types of Losses Are Involved in a Personal Injury Case?

In a personal injury case, the term “damages” refers to the amount of money the plaintiff should receive as compensation for the injury. While the terms may vary some by state or jurisdiction, generally speaking, there are three kinds of damages.

  • Economic damages are those associated directly with the injury and/or accident. They’re easily quantifiable through financial and personal records.
  • Non-economic damages are more commonly known as “pain and suffering.” These damages are intended to compensate the plaintiff for emotional or psychological injury. Because this is a more subjective concept, non-economic damages are more difficult to quantify.
  • Punitive damages are not available in every case. They are a form of punishment levied against a party that was blatantly negligent.

Juries and judges must calculate the value of these forms of losses when determining the outcome of the personal injury case. In this article we focus on economic damages, which include medical bills, lost wages, property damages, and more.

How Does the Plaintiff Prove Economic Damages?

The plaintiff’s attorney must prove the economic damages to the court and convince the judge or jury of the amount that is necessary to make the plaintiff whole. The court can consider different categories of economic damages. Here are just a few.

  • Medical expenses include both current and future calculations if the injury will require ongoing care. In most cases, future needs are assessed based on the testimony of medical experts, such as the plaintiff’s doctor.
  • Lost wages includes any loss of income or income-equivalent that the plaintiff suffered as a result of the injury.
  • Property damage is any damage to a home, car, or other personal belongings caused by the injury or accident.
  • Lost earning capacity is a factor in economic damages if the injury interferes with the plaintiff’s ability to earn an income. Expert testimony on this type of damage considers the type of work the plaintiff does as well as his or her age, work history, health, and other factors.
  • Household services are expenses incurred when a plaintiff, because of the injury, must hire someone to do tasks around the house that he or she would normally do. For example, if the plaintiff cannot clean his or her home and hires a housekeeper, that expense could be part of the damages.

Personal injury cases can be complicated and tedious. If you’re considering filing a personal injury case, you need one of the competent, capable Auto Accident Lawyers Indianapolis, IN residents trust to represent you. Contact a law firm today to schedule a consultation.



Thanks to Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into personal injury claims and proving economic damages.