Truck accidents can cause serious economic and non-economic damages that can be very costly and hard to pay. Thankfully, a personal injury lawyer can help increase your chances of compensation when seeking non-economic damages after an accident.
Non-Economic Damages are Specific
Non-economic damages in a truck accident are those types that are not related to the amount of money a person lost or needed to spend after the accident. They are somewhat harder to prove and more abstract, relying on a person’s testimony to prove. Just a few examples of these types include:
- Pain and Suffering – After experiencing a serious truck accident, an individual may experience physical pain and emotional suffering that makes their life much more difficult.
- Emotional Distress – Separate from pain and suffering, this non-economic compensation helps a person get help for managing any lingering trauma or emotional struggles caused by their accident.
- Loss of Life Enjoyment – If a car accident causes a person to experience a loss of life enjoyment – such as a decrease in their emotional enjoyment – they may get compensation for it.
As you can see by their description, some of these non-economic compensation concepts are rather abstract. How does a person in a truck accident prove that they’ve lost the enjoyment of their life due to their accident? It typically requires testimony from friends, family members, and medical professionals who can prove physical and emotional suffering after a serious car accident.
Often, judges give these types of damages as part of an award package as a punitive measure against the person who caused the accident. Though punitive damages are slightly different than these non-economic types, they have a similar somewhat abstract nature. Before attempting to get these damages, you need to make sure that you pay attention to any limitations that may apply in your state.
Certain Limitations May Apply
Although non-economic damages are available in many types of car injury cases, they are usually limited by a number of statutes. These are designed to ensure that these losses aren’t abused by someone attempting to financially injure the person who caused their injury. For example, many states use a variety of different formulas that help to dictate this factor:
- Calculating the Average Annual Wage – This number is utilized as a way of tracking the amount of money a person likely earns but may not be specific to their case.
- Multiplying It By a Specific Ratio – Most states set up a ratio that they calculate against this average wage, such as Washington Stateusing 0.43 for their non-economic damages.
- Calculating the Person’s Life Expectancy – This number is usually no less than 15 years but is also calculated based on various factors in a person’s life, such as their age and health.
No awards can exceed this limit, which is usually quite high when it is properly calculated. Other limitations may include those set up by the state, such as limitations on certain types of bodily injury, some kinds of mental anguish, and more. These limitations are specific to a state and may center around factors like the amount of money a person earns and the damage that the injured party experiences.
As a result, these types of cases are unwise to pursue with a high-quality attorney who fully understands the different elements that fall within their case. They can help a person create a case that is more likely to succeed and create a compensation package that meets their needs, using any limitations on non-economic damages to ensure that they don’t ask for too much and get denied.