You probably have heard the word “damages” many times in your life. But do you know what it means when used in a civil claim’s context? Because “damages” is a word you’ll hear many, many times if you’re injured in an accident.
Damages, in this context, mean losses. In a personal injury case, you are legally entitled to the total amount of money you’ve lost or suffered due to the incident. Damages are often categorized as either economic or non-economic damages, and this article will cover economic damages.
What Are Economic Damages?
In civil lawsuits, economic damages are the actual cash losses you have suffered due to your injuries. They cover the financial losses you suffer as a result of the accident. The total of all of these cash losses is what is referred to as your economic damages. There are several types of economic damages, and we are going to look at seven of the most common types.
1. Past and Future Medical Expenses
It goes without saying that when you get into an accident, you are bound to sustain injuries, and they may range from mild to severe. But one thing is for sure: You will need medical support.
Medical expenses mean any hospital bill you incur following the accident. It can range from a simple check-up to complex surgeries and intensive care.
2. Past and Future Lost Wages
For some of the more severe injuries, you may find yourself unable to work. The settlement you receive depends on how long this goes on. If you are out of work temporarily, you will receive enough to sustain yourself until you return to work.
For permanent loss of work, the court may award you an equivalent of your salary for a certain period, which in most cases can amount to thousands and sometimes millions of dollars.
3. Household Services
Suppose you are injured so severely that you cannot do anything by yourself anymore. In that case, you will need household assistance in the form of an aide to carry out your chores and errands, which you could have done yourself were it not for the accident.
4. Vocational Rehabilitation
Some accidents may leave you in need of vocational rehabilitation. This can take the form of functional, mental, or even emotional therapy. This often involves specialists such as physiotherapists, psychiatrists, and psychologists. They aim to help you achieve some semblance of normalcy and hopefully get you to enjoy your life again.
5. Property Damage
Most accidents involve loss of or property damage, and it can range from vehicle damage, property damage, or even other tangible objects like electronics and the like. The economic damage you receive will be dependent on whether it is just a simple repair that needs to be made or if you need to replace the whole thing. Replacing these items is usually done by checking the current market price.
6. Out-of-Pocket Expenses
These are all the expenses not included in the medical policy you have for yourself. Examples include trips to the hospital for check-ups and mobility aids like crutches. Changes in your daily life and routine which you would not have endured had it not been for the accident are also included. You are entitled to full reimbursement of out-of-pocket expenses.
7. Lost Earning Capacity
Similar to lost wages is lost earning capacity. This is a situation where, due to the accident, you cannot continue with the line of work you were doing. And neither can you learn a new skill because of factors such as age and the like. In such cases, you will be entitled to a lump sum that will sustain you for the rest of the period you have left to retirement.
Get a Personal Injury Lawyer
Some financial losses you may incur are immediately apparent, such as receipts following the accident. In the weeks and months following your accident, you can tally up the costs of hospital costs, loss of earnings, and property damages.
Other types of economic damage, on the other hand, are predicted to emerge in the future. You may be saddled with medical debt for life. Furthermore, you may not know the exact value of these losses when evaluating your injury claim. As a result, it’s a smart idea to hire a lawyer who can help you navigate all of these complexities.