What are “Damages”?

When you have been injured in an accident or as the result of someone else’s negligence, you can hire an attorney to help you claim damages, or compensation, for your injuries, among other things. Damages are divided into two categories: economic and non-economic damages.

Economic Damages In Personal Injury

Economic damages cover the losses that resulted from the accident those which a monetary value can be applied to. These include:

  • Medical treatment
  • Loss of  wages 
  • Loss of income opportunity in the future
  • Property damage, such as your vehicle, valuable possessions that were destroyed (laptops, cell phones) or damage to building structures or other property

Non-Economic Damages in Personal Injury

Pain and suffering is the most common non-economic damage that people sue for and has often been the most controversial type of damage in all fifty states. This is because pain cannot be empirically measured, and is subjective. But generally speaking, you can claim mental anguish if you suffered from any of the following:

  • Physical pain and suffering as a result of your injuries
  • Permanent disfigurement or disability
  • Mental anguish, such as suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Humiliation
  • Reduced quality of life
  • Loss of companionship, either from losing a family member in the accident or negligent act or from the additional stress the accident caused that strained marriage to the point of its dissolution. 

Say, for example, that you had a career that required you to meet or exceed a physical standard, and you also were very involved in meaningful recreational activities. If you suffered permanent injuries, then having to consider other career options and quit doing things that were closely linked to your identity could be causing you mental anguish. In this case, your life was truly changed irreparably, and you are now tasked with starting over. 

If you are no longer mobile and require someone to physically move you or take care of you, then this will completely change your life, and you have the right to sue for pain and suffering.

While this can be the most difficult to prove, your doctor or a therapist can provide the documentation your attorney will need to help your case. In some cases, the testimonies of friends and family, or others who are close to you and have seen the changes you’ve undergone since the accident, can be used to show how significant of an impact this event had on you.

Documentation to Claim Damages

In order to claim your damages, you must provide specific evidence, which your attorney will use to calculate a settlement amount. These include medical bills and any documentation from your physician or physical therapist indicating that you will need continued care. Acceptable forms of proof include the following:

  • A letter from your employer stating what your current salary or wage is, how many hours a week you usually worked, and what your position within the company is.
  • A letter from your physician, printed on official letterhead, describing what continued care is needed and for how long, how frequently you will need to attend treatments or therapy, and a thorough explanation why this treatment is necessary for your recovery.

If you’ve been injured then you will want a compassionate and knowledgeable attorney fighting for your rights and compensation. Call the Rosenberg, Minc, Falkoff & Wolff Law Firm today to learn more.