If your personal injury attorney talks with you about your losses and uses the term economic damages or losses, it is in your best interest to request an explanation for the meaning of any words with which you are unfamiliar. But if that moment has passed you by, the following examples should give you a clear idea of what attorneys mean when they discuss economic damages.
Economic damages is a legal term used to describe the monetary value of the losses you have suffered in the past, currently are suffering or may suffer from in the future due to an injury you received that was caused by another person or entity. Economic damages are verifiable; others must be estimated. They may include, but are not limited to one or more of the following losses:
- Medical expenses – Medical expenses include, but are not limited to emergency room charges, ER doctor, office visits, CT scans, MRIs, radiology, blood work, physical therapy, surgical procedures, hospital, medical devices and rehabilitation.
- Loss of wages – A loss of past wages may be verified with tax returns. Jobs that involve compensations by commission may require an averaging of the client’s commission/bonus history. An economic expert may be engaged to evaluate future wage loss using earning expectations, life expectancy and inflationary tables.
- Future costs of living life with a permanent disability – A plaintiffs’ attorney takes into consideration, clients who will be living the remainder of their lives under the strain of a permanent disability. Costs associated with a disability include vehicle upgrades and transportation costs; housing reconstruction or purchase; in-home care; future surgeries, medical devices, etcetera. An economic expert may be required to chart the plaintiff’s life expectancy, take the cost of inflation and future surgeries into consideration. This does not include compensation for the actual disability; pain and suffering caused by a permanent disability is generally reflected under the category of non-economic damages.
- Burial expenses – In claims of wrongful death, economic damages include, but are not limited to caskets, cremation ceremony, funeral home, plot, etcetera.
- Property damage – personal property such as your vehicle and the contents within your vehicle may be replaced and receipted.
When you discuss your claim with your personal injury attorney, like one of the Auto Accident Lawyers Indianapolis, IN residents trust, he or she will take into account your past and future economic damages, as well as your non-economic damages and a possible request for punitive damages…the latter two best saved for a future discussion.
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Ward & Ward Law Firm for their insight into economic damages.