What Counts as “Economic” Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

What Counts as “Economic” Damages in a Personal Injury Case?One of the first questions that you may have after being involved in an accident is wondering how much compensation you can receive for your injuries and damages. Although this is a great question, you will first need to understand what type of damages you can claim in a personal injury case. There are two categories of damages to pursue which are economic and non-economic.

Economic damages are the types of damages that you can easily put a dollar amount on, while non-economic damages don’t necessarily have a numerical value and generally take more time and concentration to determine how much they are worth. If you are making a list of your damages, here are six examples of what count as “economic” damages in a personal injury case.

1.     Medical expenses

One of the most common economic damages that people have from a personal injury accident is medical expenses. This typically includes all your medical needs following the accident, such as emergency room visits, hospital stays, diagnostic tests, surgeries, prescriptions, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical devices and equipment, and more. Depending on whether your injury is permanent or temporary, you may be able to include your current and future medical expenses associated with the injury as economic damages.

While your current medical expenses come with bills and receipts to calculate how much they are worth, your future medical expenses can be a little more difficult to determine. However, this is not impossible with the help of accountants and other professionals who will assist your attorney with calculating these expenses and cost projections.

2.     Lost wages

Depending on how severe your injuries are, you may be out of work for a few days or several months. If you are the sole provider for your family, this can cause a tremendous amount of stress and frustration as your children and spouse may begin to suffer from the effects of the accident. However, the good news is that your lost wages can be considered under the umbrella of economic damages. You can show your lawyer a pay stub of how much you make while working, and they will use this to calculate how much compensation you lost during the days, weeks, or months that you were out of work as a result of the accident.

3.     Mental health therapy costs

Even though your mental and emotional pain and suffering are not considered economic damages, your mental health therapy costs are. This means that you can include your fees for psychological or counseling services as part of your economic damages. Many people who are involved in traumatic personal injury accidents experience PTSD, anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions that may require medical intervention. Therefore, they may need help paying for their visits with a counselor or psychologist after the accident.

4.     Household services

It is not unusual for individuals who become injured to need assistance carrying out the tasks that they normally would do before the accident This typically includes household duties such as watering the garden, taking out the trash, mowing the lawn, driving the children to school and other extracurricular activities, walking the pets, and more. However, this can also include simple tasks such as helping you take your medications, take a shower, eat, and get dressed. If you do not have a spouse or family member who can help you with these tasks and duties, you will likely need to hire someone to take care of these household services, which can count as economic damages if the necessity for such support is the result of the accident.

5.     Transportation costs

If your vehicle needs to be repaired or replaced after an accident, you most likely have to depend on others to drive you to your medical appointments. This may be a family member, bus, or a rideshare service. However, if you were involved in a different type of personal injury accident and are physically able to still drive yourself to your appointments, this still costs you gas and miles. As a result, you may include transportation costs as economic damages to help you pay for your transportation to and from the hospital, specialists, doctor’s offices, and more.

6.     Property damage

A common personal injury case that lawyers regularly help clients with are car accident cases. When individuals are involved in these types of accidents, their vehicles usually experience some type of property damage. For example, after being in a head-on collision, your windows and windshield may be broken, your front end may have serious dents, your front bumper may be hanging off, and the tires may need to be replaced. As a result, you may go to an auto mechanic and find out whether the vehicle is repairable and, if so, how much it would cost to fix everything.

If the mechanic gives you an estimate of how much it will cost to repair your vehicle, it is recommended that you give this information to your attorney to determine a fair and accurate cost for the property damage you sustained in the accident, which is considered an economic damage. If the car must be replaced, your attorney will look at the current market value for the vehicle to determine how much the replacement cost might be.

If you have questions or concerns about your personal injury case, please do not hesitate to reach out to the Maryland personal injury lawyers at Plaxen Adler Muncy, P.A. at your earliest convenience. Our team can help you determine what qualifies as an economic or non-economic damage as well as provide you with legal advice regarding what you should do with your case. All you have to do is call our office or submit our contact form to schedule your free case evaluation at one of our multiple offices across Maryland today.