In the aftermath of a serious accident, victims often experience a great deal of pain, anxiety and confusion. Unfortunately, all this can be difficult to measure, which can present challenges when victims pursue legal remedies and compensation.
However, assigning a number or value to the damages suffered is crucial in personal injury cases. These figures can determine settlements or awards, so it is important to understand some details about measuring the seemingly unmeasurable.
Economic vs. non-economic
First, understand that there are generally two types of damages people suffer in an accident: economic and non-economic. Economic damages are those that are more easily calculable, like medical expenses and lost wages.
Then there are non-economic damages, or general damages. These are difficult to calculate because there is no exact value attributed to them. These damages include:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of consortium
- Physical disfigurement
- Mental anguish
While these types of damages have no specific value, they can be quite significant. And different parties consider different factors when assigning amounts. The factors that often affect general damages include:
- Your age
- Your physical condition prior to an accident
- Unfortunate side effects of treatments
- The extent to which the accident affects your quality of life
- How and if your personality changed
- The severity of your physical injuries
Taking it all into account
In cases where an accident leads to a legal claim, it is imperative to account for all damages when seeking compensation. Too often, people focus solely on the economic losses and assume that is all that they may stand to receive.
However, the damages you cannot see or easily calculate can be just as or more substantial. And proving to a judge or jury just how much a severe accident has affected your life will be crucial in pursuing the compensation you may deserve.
As such, victims would be wise to discuss with an attorney all the ways in which an accident affected their lives.