What Are Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Claim?

Being involved in a serious accident can be a traumatic experience. Depending on the type of accident, a victim may be left with severe injuries, high medical bills, lost wages, and psychological harm, too. If the victim can prove that their injuries would not have occurred but for the negligence of another party, they can seek damages. “Damages” refer to monetary compensation. Here’s what you need to know about the difference between economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury claim and how a Virginia personal injury lawyer can help—

What Are Economic Damages?

Economic damages refer to compensation for the value of your economic losses. Economic losses are the actual financial losses that you suffer as a result of your accident and related injuries. For example, medical bills, lost wages, and property damage costs are all economic damages.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages refer to damages for non-economic losses; the intangible harm that an injury victim suffers. Types of non-economic damages available in a Virginia personal injury claim might include compensation for:

  • Physical pain;
  • Physical suffering;
  • Emotional anguish;
  • Psychological injury (depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, etc.);
  • Loss of consortium;
  • Grief and embarrassment; and
  • Any other intangible losses. 

How Are Non-Economic Damages Calculated in a Virginia Personal Injury Claim?

Economic damages are calculated based on their actual value; non-economic damages are much harder to calculate. Courts typically use two different methods for calculating non-economic damages: the per diem method and the multiplier method.

With the per diem method, a daily value is assigned based on the plaintiff’s degree of non-economic loss; then, this amount is multiplied by the number of days for which the plaintiff experiences pain and suffering. 

With the multiplier method, a plaintiff is assigned a multiplier of one through five, with a higher number being assigned for more severe losses. Then, this number is multiplied by the value of economic damages. For example, a person who has suffered $200,000 in economic losses and is assigned a multiplier of 1.5 would be entitled to $300,000 in non-economic losses.

While non-economic damages may be calculated and awarded by a court, it’s common for settlement agreements to be reached outside of the courtroom during negotiations. As a note, there are no caps on economic damages in Virginia. 

Call A Personal Injury Lawyer to Learn More About Non-Economic Damages

If you have been injured due to the negligence of another party, you deserve to be compensated in full for your losses. When you call the Correll Law Firm, you can count on a skilled Virginia personal injury lawyer working hard to get you a fair settlement that includes compensation for both economic and non-economic harm. To learn more about your right to file a claim, how much time you have to file a claim after your accident, and the potential value of your claim, call our personal injury lawyer directly or send the firm a message online at your convenience. We offer free consultations.