When you’ve been injured in a serious car accident, you may be entitled to compensation for your medical expenses and other needs. Of course, those are not the only form of damages available to injury victims: You may also be eligible to seek compensation for your pain and suffering, as well as the emotional trauma of your experience. These payments are called “non-economic damages,” and with the right attorney, getting compensation for these losses may be possible.
At Simeone & Miller, LLP, our experienced legal team will help you review the details of your case and arrive at the best legal strategy. Always committed to our clients, we’ll look at every aspect of your claim – and fight to maximize your total recovery.
Understanding the Types of Non-Economic Damages
While standard economic or “compensatory” damages are intended to “make the victim whole again,” non-economic damages cover the more intangible elements involved in an injury. Car repairs, medical bills, lost wages, and time off work can all result in steep costs, but these costs can be repaid in time. Pain and emotional trauma, on the other hand, may take many years to heal, if they heal at all.
Here are a few of the most common forms of non-economic damages:
- Pain and suffering compensates victims for physical pain associated with medical conditions and injuries caused by the accident.
- Mental anguish compensates victims for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other psychological conditions caused by an accident.
- Decreased quality of life is compensation for a decrease in the victim’s quality of life, particularly in the event of a paralyzing injury.
- Physical disfigurement compensates victims for for catastrophic injuries that permanently alter the victim, from amputation to permanent pain to scarring.
- Physical impairments compensation for catastrophic injuries that prevent the victim from returning to their normal day-to-day life. It also covers the cost of long-term care and assistance.
- Loss of consortium compensates a victim for the loss of a companion and partner, particularly when the lawsuit is filed on behalf of a deceased loved one.
How Much Can I Receive in Non-Economic Damages?
Some states and jurisdictions have “caps,” or limits, on damages in civil lawsuits, especially where non-economic damages are sought. This is out of fear that people will abuse the system and claim too much compensation on a non-economic basis. Fortunately, Washington DC is not one of the jurisdictions that places a cap on this important form of compensation.
However, your non-economic damages will be based on your actual experience following your accident, including how much medical care you required, your pain levels, and whether your injuries are permanent or long-term. Judges and juries have discretion to decide on non-economic damages and will look at all the facts involved in the accident and your treatment and recovery.
At Simeone & Miller, LLP, we have been practicing personally injury law for over 17 years and we are deeply familiar with all the local laws and doctrines in Washington DC, Maryland and Virginia. Whatever your needs, we’ll get to the bottom of your case and fight for fair compensation for your serious injuries.