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Understanding Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages

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There are two types of damages available in any type of personal injury lawsuit: economic damages and non-economic damages. These damages may be available to victims of auto accidents, but understanding how they are determined and what makes each type possible to recover is important. Our Houston auto accident lawyers break down each type of damage.

Economic Damages

Broadly, economic damages are objectively verifiable monetary losses. If a person loses the ability to perform a certain job, his or her lost income is an example of economic damages. In the context of personal injury litigation, medical expenses that have been incurred in the past or that can be reasonably assumed to be incurred in the future are economic damages. Lost wages and lost income capacity are economic damages as well.

The amount of economic damages is often contested in litigation and professionals are employed to render opinions about vocational capacity or expected business income. The value of any damaged property, such as a vehicle, is also considered as economic damages.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages refer to all damages that are subjective and cannot be easily quantified by a dollar figure. Pain and suffering and loss of enjoyment of life due to the inability to enjoy certain activities can be considered non-economic. Disfigurement and the potential resulting mental anguish are categories of damages often seen in personal injury litigation. These types of damages are typically proven through testimony and other evidence showing the way an injured person’s daily life is affected.

Medical professionals may testify about physical limitations and levels of pain typically experienced with the type of injuries suffered while the family and friends of the victim corroborate and expand on the medical testimony with examples of how life has changed.

A combination of verbal testimony and visual proof is often the best combination. A skilled Houston auto accident lawyer can incorporate visual aids describing the exact injury as well as actual examples of the injured person’s struggles as documented in photos, videos, as well as witness testimony.

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At The Daspit Law Firm, Our Team of Attorneys Handles the Full Range of Personal Injury Cases, Including Car and Truck Accidents, Industrial Accidents, Construction Accidents, Maritime & Offshore Accidents, and Much More.


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