Skip to Main Content

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

If you have suffered a personal injury, you know the actual cost goes beyond bills. Personal injuries have a range of non-financial effects in addition to medical expenses, lost wages, and property damages. 

According to Texas law, non-economic damages represent the non-monetary losses associated with your injury. These damages are awarded to compensate you for an injury’s subjective, non-financial effects, including the personal, emotional, and psychological impacts you endure. For example, when we think of compensation for pain and suffering, we think about non-economic damages. These damages are essential to understand in your personal injury case. 

There are different types of non-economic damages available in each personal injury case. No two cases are alike, but a Houston personal injury lawyer can help you determine the non-economic damages that may be available in your case. Common examples include the following: 

Table of Contents

Pain and Suffering

Pain and Suffering

Pain and suffering damages include compensation for the physical pain, suffering, and emotional anguish you may endure from your injury. It includes immediate pain, chronic discomfort, and the mental toll of coping with injury-related limitations. Pain and suffering damages also consider the potential for future suffering and long-term pain. 

Emotional Distress

Emotional distress damages are awarded for the psychological impact of your injury. This includes stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia. You may also be compensated for other mental health issues stemming from your injury. The compensation also recognizes the loss of enjoyment of life you may experience if injuries affect your ability to partake in hobbies or social activities. 

Loss of Consortium

Loss of consortium refers to the negative effects of an injury on you and your spouse. It covers loss of companionship, affection, moral support, and intimacy from your injury. 

Disfigurement and Scarring

This compensation recognizes the toll of physical disfigurement and scarring from your injury. Examples include scars and burns, which can have a psychological impact on your self-image, self-esteem, and mental health. How these changes affect your social life or employment can impact compensation. 

Calculating Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic damages, expenses are not tallied to calculate non-economic damages. These damages do not come with receipts, invoices, or bills. Rather, their cost is subjective. Non-economic damages can also vary significantly from case to case. Several factors determine how they may be calculated, including the following: 

Severity and Duration of Your Injury

The severity and duration of your injury are pivotal when calculating non-economic damages. More severe injuries, such as those causing permanent disability, typically justify higher compensation. Long-lasting injuries that require ongoing medical treatment are also considered for increased damages. 

Impact on Your Quality of Life

This factor evaluates how significantly your injury has disrupted your everyday life. It includes your inability to perform daily tasks, engage in leisure activities, or maintain social relationships. 

Your Age and Occupation

Your age is another crucial factor. Younger individuals, who may have to live with an injury longer, may also receive higher compensation. The nature of your occupation can also play a significant role. If their job requires physical labor or skills that your injury affects, this can lead to a higher claim for non-economic damages.

A Houston personal injury lawyer can help you value the non-economic damages that may be awarded in your case. 

How Do I Prove Non-Economic Damages?

Proving non-economic damages in a legal case involves demonstrating an injury’s intangible, subjective impacts. These damages, such as pain and suffering, emotional distress, and loss of enjoyment of life, are not straightforward. Instead, they are difficult to quantify. However, with the right evidence, it is possible. 

You may need to do the following to prove non-economic damages:

  • Document Your Injury Daily: Keep a journal that details your daily challenges, pain, emotional states, and how your injury affects your quality of life.
  • Provide Medical Evidence: Keep copies of medical records that detail the extent of the injury, your prognosis, and any long-term implications. If applicable, include evaluations from psychologists or psychiatrists about your emotional and mental health.
  • Collect Testimony from Family, Friends, and Colleagues: Collect statements or testimonies from people who know you well. They can speak to the changes in your life, behavior, and mood.
  • Get Expert Testimony: Expert witnesses can provide insight into your injuries and the severity of your pain and suffering. Psychologists or psychiatrists can testify about the psychological impact and potential future implications.
  • Hire Legal Representation: Consider hiring a Houston personal injury lawyer to guide you in effectively presenting and arguing your case for non-economic damages.

Proving non-economic damages requires showing the impact of your injury on your life. A Houston personal injury lawyer can help you present compelling evidence to be awarded non-economic damages in your case. 

Consult a Houston Personal Injury Lawyer

Non-economic damages can be a significant source of compensation in your personal injury case. These damages offer a path for you to gain compensation for your non-monetary losses, including pain and suffering. While challenging to quantify and prove, non-economic damages are essential for your full recovery. A personal injury lawyer can help you determine how much your case is worth.

At  Zehl & Associates Injury & Accident Lawyers, our Houston personal injury lawyers can help you recover compensation for pain, suffering, disfigurement, and other losses. Schedule a free consultation today. Contact us online or call (888) 603-3636.