Augusta Premier Personal
Injury Attorneys

Economic Damages

Economic Damages When you pursue a personal injury claim, you will hear the term “damages.” You can think of damages as “losses” caused by the other party’s conduct. Insurance companies and juries use your losses to determine how much compensation you should receive.

Economic damages cover the financial impact of your injuries. Non-economic damages cover the effects of the injuries on your quality of life. While your settlement or damage award will compensate you for both types, you will need different evidence to document them. Thus, understanding the difference will help you ensure you include all eligible losses in your claim.

What Are Economic Damages?

What Are Economic Damages?

Economic losses have a significant effect after you suffer an injury. Medical debts and the loss of income due to medical conditions cause the majority of U.S. bankruptcies.

Economic damages cover all the ways your injuries affect your finances or financial obligations.

Thus, economic damages can include:

  • Expenses you paid
  • Bills you received
  • Income you lost
  • Future income you cannot earn

The idea behind compensating you for your economic losses is simple. If someone else caused your injuries, the law views the other person as responsible for any financial losses you incurred. To force you to bear the losses caused by the other party’s actions would be unfair to you and a windfall to them.

By placing the burden of your damages on the business or person responsible for your injuries, the law ensures that negligence and other wrongful actions have a price. The goal, then, is to both discourage dangerous behavior and provide justice for the innocent victims of someone else’s actions.

For example, in a wrongful death claim, the family members can seek compensation from the party that caused their loved one’s death. To recover their losses, the family must prove the other party did something that contributed to the death. Once they persuade an insurer or jury of the other party’s role in causing the death, the law shifts the burden of their financial losses.

Examples of Economic Damages in a Georgia Personal Injury Case

Economic losses can take several forms. Some common types of economic damages include:

Medical Expenses

After your injury, you could face tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical bills for:

  • Ambulance transportation
  • Emergency room treatment
  • Doctor’s appointments
  • Out-patient treatments
  • Surgery
  • Physical therapy
  • Mental health counseling or therapy
  • Medications

You can seek compensation for both past and future medical expenses. To seek future medical costs, you may need your doctor or an expert witness to testify about the future medical treatment, therapy, and medication you may need.

Income Losses

In addition, your injuries might prevent you from working. For example, almost two-thirds of adults with back pain miss at least some time at work. Most workers will see a reduction in pay either immediately or after using their paid time off.

To recover lost wages from an at-fault party, you must show that their actions caused the income losses.

Some ways your lawyer can connect your losses to your injuries include:

  • Missed work for doctor’s appointments or therapy sessions
  • Time off due to doctor-ordered rest
  • Reduced hours resulting from physical or mental injuries
  • Light duty at reduced pay due to temporary or permanent disabilities

Your income losses can also include a future reduction in your earning capacity due to your injuries. Suppose that you lost your vision in a car accident. You may need to change jobs due to the disability. If you were a highly paid construction worker, your vision loss might end your career. The other party may be liable for the difference in pay as you move to a different job.

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

Out-of-pocket costs are the money you paid as a result of your injuries. These expenses overlap with your other categories of costs. For example, you might pay a copay out of pocket to receive medical care. But they can also cover losses that do not fall into the other categories of damages.

Some examples of out-of-pocket expenses you can pursue include:

  • Over-the-counter medication
  • First aid supplies, like bandages or a knee brace
  • Durable medical equipment, such as a wheelchair
  • Replacement services, such as taxi fare if your injuries prevent you from driving
  • Home modifications to add grab bars, ramps, or other accommodations

To seek reimbursement for out-of-pocket expenses in an injury claim, you must show that the costs were reasonable, necessary, and caused by your injuries.

Your Personal Injury Lawyer’s Role in Seeking Economic Damages

When you hire a lawyer, they will discuss the kinds of losses you can include in your claim. A lawyer will add up your economic losses to estimate the compensation you can seek for your injuries.

Your attorney will also ask you to document both past and future losses. You will document your economic losses using financial records, including receipts, bank statements, and paystubs. The lawyer will submit this evidence with your insurance claim. If the insurer denies your claim or fails to offer a fair settlement, your lawyer can use this evidence in court.

Get Legal Help Recovering Economic Damages

Economic damages often cover the bulk of your losses after suffering an injury. Contact an Augusta personal injury attorney of Nicholson Revell Personal Injury Attorneys at (706) 722-8784 to discuss how you can seek compensation for these losses.