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Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages: What’s the Difference?

Blogs from December, 2020

Young woman stands behind her car that has just been smashed in an accident

If you’ve ever tried to recover compensation after a car accident, you may have heard the following terms:

  • Economic damages
  • Non-economic damages

Not all collisions warrant insurance payouts for non-economic damages. Keep reading to learn more about what these two terms mean.

Economic Damages

Economic damages (also referred to as “specific” damages) are intended to compensate you for your actual, measurable losses as a result of an accident. You may receive reimbursement for the out-of-pocket expenses that you incur due to an injury.

Some of the most common economic damages to pursue are as follows:

  • Lost earnings;
  • Past and future medical expenses related to the injury;
  • Lost business opportunities due to the injury sustained;
  • Expenses aligned with repairing or replacing damaged property, such as a vehicle; or
  • Damage as a result of the at-fault party using your property without first obtaining your permission.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages (also referred to as “general” damages) are immeasurable. They can’t be determined by adding up recorded bills and receipts. This compensation is for non-monetary, not easily quantifiable losses.

Some of the most common non-economic damages to pursue are as follows:

  • The injury itself;
  • Emotional distress;
  • Disability or disfigurement;
  • Pain and suffering;
  • Physical impairment;
  • Loss of companionship;
  • Loss related to your reputation; or
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

It can be very difficult to quantify non-economic damages because they are highly subjective and differ case by case. Each individual jurisdiction determines its own strict guidelines since these damages are so challenging to calculate.

Non-economic damages are subject to a statutory cap, which means you cannot collect an endless amount of money for these damages.

If you sustained an injury as a result of a car accident, you may be owed compensation. Contact our office right away to discuss the details of your case.

Give our Kent personal injury attorney at Dore Law Group, PLLC a call today at tel(253) 236-3888 to discuss your case.