What are the 3 types of damages?
In a personal injury case, there are three types of damages that you may be able to recover: economic, non-economic and punitive damages. Both economic and non-economic damages are a type of compensatory damages, which are designed to make you whole again.
Economic damages include any losses for which you can easily attach a number value. Examples of economic damages include medical bills, property damages, lost wages and reduced earning capacity.
Non-economic damages are losses that are hard to put a number on and are more subjective. They may include things such as:
- Pain and suffering
- Loss of a limb
- Emotional distress
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Inability to engage in pleasurable activities
While these damages can be challenging to prove, a seasoned California personal injury attorney can use their experience with other settlements and jury awards to set an amount for your non-economic damages.
Punitive damages are rarely awarded in personal injury cases. They are designed to punish a wrongdoer and deter others from engaging in similar conduct. Because most personal injury cases involve negligence — rather than intentional wrongdoing — they are usually not a factor in these types of claims. An example of a situation where you may receive punitive damages in a personal injury case is an accident where the other driver was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, and had a previous alcohol-related conviction.