Victims severely injured because of another’s negligence often need to seek compensation, or damages. An essential part of determining an amount is figuring out how much income was lost during the victim’s recovery or how potential future earnings could be affected by the injury. The victim of a traumatic event, the victim’s family and a personal injury attorney will also often seek non-economic damages.
Examples of non-economic damages
The injured person or their family is entitled to seek compensation for physical and mental pain and suffering. Juries will consider the following when they award damages to a victim:
- Mental distress: Just as viable as a physical injury, this usually involves long-term mental trauma due to the incident.
- Inability to enjoy life: The injuries caused by the incident prevent the victim from taking joy in activities he or she used to relish.
- Permanent impairment: The loss of bodily function or disfigurement forever changes the victim’s life and can lead to other issues, such as a shorter lifespan.
- Damages for death: This could involve the victim’s inability to earn as much as he or she did before the injury.
- Loss of consortium: Damages due to a spouse or family member because the victim is no longer alive or fully functioning; this includes deprivation of society, affection, companionship, and sexual relations.
Proving the impact of injuries
Victims may find it difficult to define the scope of their injuries and suffering, so it is often essential to work with an attorney who can help the client bring the impact of the injury to light. Just as veterans can suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after engaging in combat or being wounded, victims of a car crash or workplace injury can be deeply affected. It is often best for the plaintiff not to wait to file a personal injury claim because there is typically a two-year statute of limitations from the time of the injury.