Personal injuries can be life-altering, leading to physical, emotional and financial hardships.
When an injury happens due to the negligence of another, the injured person may have a case to receive compensation. That compensation can come in different forms.
1. Economic damages
Economic damages, also known as pecuniary damages, encompass the tangible losses a person incurs due to an injury. These damages are quantifiable and have a clear monetary value. Medical expenses are a primary component of economic damages, covering the cost of treatment, surgeries, medication and rehabilitation. Additionally, lost wages fall under this category, compensating the injured party for income lost during their recovery.
2. Non-economic damages
Non-economic damages are more subjective and relate to the intangible losses suffered by the injured party. These damages are challenging to quantify precisely because they involve aspects of pain, suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life. When someone experiences a diminished quality of life due to an injury, non-economic damages aim to provide compensation for these non-monetary hardships.
3. Punitive damages
Punitive damages serve a different purpose compared to economic and non-economic damages. Rather than compensating the injured party for their losses, punitive damages served to punish the responsible party for their negligent or intentional actions. The award of these damages occurs when the defendant’s behavior is particularly reckless or malicious. However, they are not awarded in every personal injury case and require a showing of extreme wrongdoing on the part of the responsible party.
Unintended injuries sent 25.5 million people to emergency rooms in 2021. Beyond dealing with the injuries themselves, an incident can have long-term consequences for the injured person and their families.