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Page Updated 12/08/2021

What Are Non-Economic Damages in California? | CACI Jury Instructions


Got hurt in a car accident and looking to pursue legal action? Want help in determining fair compensation for your personal injuries?

Are Non-Economic Damages Confusing You?

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When determining claims, expert attorneys take two types of damages into account when filing for claims and these are:

  1. Economic damages
  2. Non-economic damages

Economic damages are those damages that are quantifiable, meaning you can easily put a value on them. For example, medical bills are part of economic damages, as you already know how much your treatment costs, and you can easily apply for a claim.

However, expert personal injury lawyers consider non-economic damages as well. When it comes to personal injury claims, you may have heard about the term “non-economic damages” but what does it mean?

Non-Economic Damages Defined

Non-economic damages or non-economic losses, unlike economic damages, which have a monetary value, do not hold a monetary value. There is no financial impact of non-economic damages on a personal injury victim.

It can get difficult for personal injury lawyers to quantify or calculate non-economic damages as it can vary across different personal injury lawsuits. If you’re looking to recover compensation, you need to understand some of the non-economic damages that come with your personal injury case.

What Are Some of the Non-Economic Damages?

It may all seem confusing, but trust us, even for attorneys, this is a challenging aspect of a personal injury lawsuit, calculating non-economic damages. Here are some examples of non-economic damages that you can add to your claim depending on your case:

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress is something that can impact a victim’s quality of life, and if a personal injury reduces the qualify of life of an individual, you can add it to your claims and recover non-economic damages.

Physical Pain

Pain and suffering can take a toll on a personal injury victim, and it is only fair that you ask for compensation for any pain or suffering that you may have had due to the injury. A victim facing a lot of pain from an accident can dwindle into depression, emotional distress, and even have anxiety. Ehline Law firm has helped many clients claim pain and suffering due to a personal injury. In our experience, it is often medical malpractice cases where patients find themselves in depression and lose the will to live.

Loss of Life Enjoyment

When you find that you no longer can enjoy life due to a personal injury, you can add this to your personal injury claim. Seeking financial compensation for loss of joy in personal injury cases is something that our attorneys are experts in and can help you seek maximum compensation.

You can even face loss of enjoyment if you are a victim of medical malpractice as any further injuries from malpractice can restrict your activities.

Common Examples of Economic Damages

Let’s look at some of the most common examples of economic damages that personal injury lawyers use when determining claims.

Medical Expenses

These are the most common types of expenses that an individual faces when they get personal injuries from an auto accident or any other type of accident. Insurance companies do reimburse medical expenses as part of their claims.

And if you’re having trouble retrieving medical compensatory damages from an insurance company, speak to our attorneys today and get a free case review!

Lost Wages

When a person gets into a car accident, they might find that they are unable to work for a few days, months, or even years in some cases. In such situations, an attorney calculates the lost income by multiplying the income dollar amount by the number of months the person is absent from work.

What Are Punitive Damages?

Punitive damages do not fall under economic or non-economic damages as the defendant pays for these as an act of punishment so that they do not exhibit any reckless behavior in the future. Although these types of damages are not to compensate any loss, they are additional damages on top of the claim a person files.

How to Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?

Calculating or determining claims by taking into consideration monetary losses is an easy task for an attorney. However, it takes a legal expert to determine claims for non-monetary losses, as there are a lot of factors that come to play depending on the personal injury case.

There is no such calculation or formula to help you go about finding the monetary value for pain and suffering damages or any other non-monetary damages. The legal counsel considers the evidence presented and a reasonable value or estimate that is understandable for non-economic damages.

But there are certain factors that relevant parties take into consideration when evaluating claims and these are:

  • Duration – How long the person has had the injury
  • Severity – How severe is the injury
  • Degree – Has the injury had an impact on the daily activities of the person or their family members
  • Recovery – When is the person going to make a full recovery

Let’s Look at an Example

Here is a hypothetical example where two parties face a car collision where there is no at-fault party. Both the parties sustain injuries and wounds from the car accident but one of the drivers, an Olympic medalist, gets their legs broken causing them to undergo surgery.

The surgery leaves the Olympic medalist with one leg shorter than the other, which affects her quality of life and her career. The injury not only leaves her in bed for months but also crushes her dream of becoming the best athlete in the country.

The second driver is also an athlete who loses both legs but shifts his goals towards becoming the best Paralympic athlete there is. Now in this example, both the drivers get injured but who gets maximum compensation among the two?

There is no correct answer to this as people will have differing views, however, a skilled personal injury insurance litigation attorney in Los Angeles can help determine the claims according to their past experiences. Ehline Law has expert attorneys who have retrieved over $150 million in compensation and can put a dollar value on non-economic damages.

Contact Ehline Law to Determine Your Claims

If you’ve had a car accident and looking to pursue legal action, contact us now at (213) 596-9642 and we will help evaluate your claims, pursue legal action, and get you the compensation you deserve.

You can contact us via phone, email, or even visit any of our offices in California. We understand what you’re going through and are here to help!

Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
Attorney at Law
Michael P. Ehline Esq,
Downtown Los Angeles Corporate Offices

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Los Angeles, CA 90071
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Ehline Law Firm - Personal Injury Attorneys, APLC
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