Noneconomic Damages: A Primer

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Attractive young man feels pain in his headWhen you are injured in an accident – especially an accident caused by someone else –there is often more harm to you than just the physical injuries you can observe. Any accident can result in emotional and mental injuries that can be equally as devastating and as difficult to treat as the physical injuries. For example:

  • A dog bite incident in your neighborhood can leave you terrified of dogs or afraid to leave your house;
  • The injuries you suffer in a car accident can cause excruciating, debilitating pain that leaves you unable to do those activities you previously enjoyed; and
  • Nursing home abuse can leave a person fearful and distrustful of others and cause anxiety when that person is left alone with others.

Just as you are entitled to be compensated for the physical injuries you suffered, you are entitled to be compensated for your emotional and mental injuries as well. Compensation you receive for these injuries is often referred to as noneconomic damages. When it comes to noneconomic damages in personal injury cases, however, there are a few things you need to know:

  • Medical malpractice cap on noneconomic damages: When you are suing a healthcare provider for negligent medical treatment, you may be limited to the amount of noneconomic damages you can receive. This “cap” is a part of medical malpractice reform efforts and limits you in such cases to $350,000.
  • The value of your mental and emotional injuries is  subjective: This means that, unlike medical expenses and lost wages that can be supported with objective evidence, your mental pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life is difficult to quantify. A judge or jury hearing your case can easily disagree with the manner in which you value your noneconomic injuries. You should discuss noneconomic damages and how they should be valued with your personal injury attorney before filing your case.
  • Your success in recovering noneconomic damages depends on your “story”: Receiving the maximum amount of noneconomic damages depends in part on how well you are able to make the judge or jury “feel your pain.” The evidence and testimony you present in support of your request for noneconomic damages should, as much as possible, paint a picture for the judge or jury of what your life was like prior to the incident and how the incident and your injuries have changed that picture.

Greenville personal injury attorney David R. Price, Jr. is committed to helping injury victims recover the maximum amount of compensation possible. This is why he discusses economic as well as noneconomic damages with his clients. He will help you identify and value any mental or emotional injuries you suffered as a result of your incident and will locate and persuasively present evidence supporting your claim for compensation. Contact the law office of David R. Price, Jr., P.A. today by calling (864) 271-2636 or by contacting the office online and setting a free initial consultation to discuss your case.

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