While no one wants to think about the possibility of serious injuries as a result of an accident, injuries do happen. If someone else’s negligence caused that accident, victims may be entitled to compensation for damages they suffered. Understanding the legal concepts of economic vs. non-economic damages can help the injured party evaluate what may or may not be recoverable. Speak with an attorney in Ft. Lauderdale to see what personal injury damages you may recover.
Economic, or special, damages are, in essence, a replacement of money lost as a direct result of the accident in question. Insurers award these damages to make the injured person whole in terms of their economic losses. These are usually required to be calculable and actually measurable and can include:
- Lost wages from time off of work
- Lost opportunities, and missed business opportunities (these can be past, present, or future)
- Medical expenses (past, present, and future)
- Lost earning capacity
- The cost of hiring a landscaping or housekeeping service to complete tasks the injured party can no longer accomplish
Unlike economic damages, noneconomic or “general” damages do not require proof of an actual cost or loss. Insurers do not award these to reimburse the accident victim for their expenditures; rather, they are an attempt to quantify the non-monetary losses of the victim and his family.
These damages are not quantifiable, so they can be highly subjective matters. They include intangibles such as:
- Pain and suffering: This can be physical, emotional, or psychological.
- Loss of companionship or consortium: Loss of their loved one’s participation in the relationship or marriage
- Physical disability or disfigurement and the related emotional toll on the affected victim
- Reputational harm or damage to an individual’s social or professional standing
- Loss of enjoyment of life: When someone sustains a life-changing injury, he may have to give up things he loved and thought he would be able to do for the rest of their lives. This can lead to significant depression and other physiological as well as psychological issues.
Note: Currently, there are no damage caps on economic and non-economic damages in personal injury cases in Florida. If you seek punitive damages, Florida caps these at $500,000 or three times the compensatory damage amount.
To ensure you understand your rights if you or someone you love suffered serious injuries due to someone else’s negligence, contact a Ft. Lauderdale attorney at the Montero Law Center at 954-767-6500.