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How to Calculate Non-Economic Damages?

Car accidents caused by someone else's negligence can lead to life-changing injuries. While medical bills and lost wages represent the tangible financial losses you face, the emotional and physical impact of your injuries can be just as devastating. Indiana law recognizes this and allows victims to seek compensation for these intangible losses through something called non-economic damages.

Here at Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, LLC, our personal injury attorneys in Indianapolis understand the complexities of non-economic damages and are dedicated to helping you hold those at fault responsible. We have put together this guide to help you better understand the concept of non-economic damages, how they are calculated, and the factors considered when determining their value in your case.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Unlike economic damages, which have a clear monetary value (e.g., medical bills, lost wages), the purpose of non-economic damages is to help compensate for your intangible losses due to the accident. These losses can be emotional, physical, or psychological. They don't have a set price tag, and their value is determined by the specific facts of your case.

Here are some examples of non-economic damages:

  • Pain and Suffering: include the physical pain (or discomfort) and emotional distress experienced by you due to your injuries.
  • Mental Anguish: includes anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) stemming from the accident.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: due to your injuries you may no longer be able to do the things you once enjoyed, like running, golfing, spending time with loved ones, and other types of hobbies.
  • Loss of Consortium: This covers the loss of companionship, intimacy, and emotional support from a spouse or partner due to the accident.
  • Scarring and Disfigurement: The emotional and social impact of permanent physical changes caused by your injuries.
  • Loss of Reputation: In some cases, injuries can stop you from working or participating in in social activities, potentially damaging your reputation.

How to Calculate Non-Economic Damages in Indiana

Unfortunately, there's no single formula for calculating non-economic damages in Indiana. Instead, insurance companies and courts rely on several factors to estimate their value. Here are some common methods used:

  • Multiplier Method: This method assigns a multiplier (usually between 1 and 5) to your economic damages to determine the value of your non-economic damages. The severity and long-term impact of your injuries influence the multiplier.
  • Per Diem Method: This method assigns a daily value to your pain and suffering based on the duration of your recovery. The daily rate increases as injuries become more severe and the length of time it takes to recover.
  • Similar Case Reviews: Your attorney may research past cases in Indiana with similar injuries to yours and how non-economic damages were awarded.

What are the Factors Affecting Non-Economic Damages

The value of your non-economic damages depends on several factors unique to your case. Here are some important things considered:

  • Severity of Your Injuries: More serious injuries that cause significant pain, suffering, and long-term limitations will typically receive higher non-economic damage awards.
  • Duration of Your Recovery: The length of time it takes to recover from your injuries plays a role. Prolonged recovery with lasting effects will generally warrant higher compensation.
  • Type of Injury: The nature of your injury can also influence the value. Permanent injuries, disfigurement, or chronic pain are usually valued higher compared to temporary injuries.
  • Impact on Your Daily Life: How your injuries affect your ability to work, play sports, participate in activities, maintain relationships, and overall quality of life is a crucial factor.
  • Emotional and Psychological Effects: The emotional distress, anxiety, depression, or PTSD you experience due to the accident will be considered.
  • Evidence of Pain and Suffering: Medical records, doctor's testimony, pain journals, and personal accounts detailing your pain and suffering strengthen your claim.

Why You Need an Indianapolis Personal Injury Attorney

Non-economic damages can significantly impact the total compensation you receive for your injuries. Insurance companies are notorious for undervaluing these losses. An experienced Indianapolis personal injury attorney at Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, LLC can help you:

  • Gather and document evidence to support the severity of your injuries and their impact on your life.
  • Fight for fair compensation for your pain and suffering, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-economic damages.
  • Navigate the legal process and assist you in negotiating with insurance companies to ensure that you receive the compensation that you rightfully deserve.

Contact Our Injury Lawyers Today!

If you have been injured due to someone else's negligence, don't let them downplay your non-economic losses. Contract Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, LLC, a trusted personal injury attorney firm at 317-969-8000.

We’re Here to Help You!

We are available by phone 24/7 to discuss your case, and we make it a priority to answer all of your questions as soon as possible.

(317) 969-8000

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