doctor evaluating a patient's back

3 Different Types of Damages

I was going through my old blogs recently (it’s one of the drags about writing your own, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve written a similar blog twice) and realized that I’ve talked about non-economic damages (harms and losses), but I’ve never talked about what a person is entitled to after they have been injured by the negligence of another person. There are three different types of damages:

Economic Damages

This category of compensation is anything that can be captured and tracked by an accountant. Medical bills, lost income, out of pocket costs, property damage or loss and mileage for purposes of getting treatment are common sources of this category.

Non-Economic Damages

This category of harms consists most commonly of pain and suffering (see my blog on this harm for greater explanation), loss of enjoyment of life, loss of quality of life and inconvenience. Loss of enjoyment and quality of life are similar and include things you can no longer do or have to do differently, or can only do for a limited time, that you have enjoyed in your life such as hobbies or exercise/activities such as skiing, golf, or maybe mountain climbing. Finally, inconvenience is the time you have had to spend getting treatment because of the actions of the other driver. An example is that it is not unusual for a person to have to spend two hours going to one medical appointment when you consider the time it takes to drive to the appointment and then, often, wait. This is time that you are having to work for another person and because of that, you can be compensated for it.

Permanent Physical Impairment

This is the category of damages that no one wants to have. If you have permanent physical impairment, it usually means that you have gone through, probably, a year or more of treatment that has improved your life from where you began after the car accident, but you have never gotten back to where the health you enjoyed prior to the auto collision. It means that some part or all of your body has sustained a reduction in your ability to function in some way, and it now acts as a limit on your abilities. Because it is permanent, you have the right to be compensated for the remainder of your life.

There may be other losses that fit within a particular category, but overall this should give you a basic understanding of what you are entitled to after being injured in an auto accident. If you would like to talk about understanding more about this process, just give us a call.