What are Non-Economic Damages, and are They Recoverable in a Riverview Personal Injury Claim?
When you’ve been injured because of someone else’s negligence, you have the right in Florida (and all other states) to pursue the at-fault party for the damages they have caused you to suffer. Most people think that this means medical bills and lost wages. While these are economic damages you can recover, there is another component of damages that is meant to compensate you for non-economic damages. But what does this mean?
What Are Non-Economic Damages?
When you suffer an injury, you not only incur medical bills, but there is also an effect on you personally. This is especially true if your injury is permanent. The effect might be physical, or even emotional. Regardless, our civil justice system is designed to make you whole after a loss – which includes recovery for your damages that cannot simply be added up on a calculator. These are non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages are the damages that you can recover for your human losses. This category of damages is most commonly referred to as “pain and suffering” damages, although it is much more than that. In addition to pain and suffering, non-economic damages include such things as emotional distress, disability, disfigurement, inconvenience, loss of enjoyment of life, etc. There are many components, both physical and mental, that qualify under this category of damages. Just like economic damages, both past and future non-economic damages can be recoverable.
Are Non-Economic Damages Always Recoverable?
Although non-economic damages can always be a component of damages, they are not always recoverable. Under Florida law, if you have been injured in a car accident and it is determined that your injury is not permanent, you are not entitled to recover non-economic or “pain and suffering” damages. This only applies to injuries suffered as a result of a car accident. Otherwise, non-economic damages are always recoverable, as long as the evidence supports it.
How Do I Prove Non-Economic Damages?
Non-economic damages are not always easy to prove. Unlike economic damages, you can’t just add them up on a calculator. Because they are damages for human losses, it usually takes humans to prove these damages. Although sometimes they are easy to see – as in the case of some catastrophic injuries such as paraplegia injuries – more often than not the evidence will consist of lay testimony.
Although you can testify as to how your physical or mental condition may have changed since the accident, the best evidence to prove your human losses is the testimony from the people around you. There is no stronger evidence than the testimony of, let’s say a neighbor or a co-worker, who has no stake in the outcome of your case, who are able to discuss how you’ve changed since the accident occurred.
To best protect your rights after an accident, it’s important that you seek the help of an experienced personal injury attorney. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys can assist you in recovering all of the damages to which you are entitled.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to a Riverview Personal Injury Attorney now.