Accidents can happen. When they do, they often bring many challenges.
After such events, people might have a case to get money for what they lost. Personal injury damages come in three types: economic, non-economic and punitive.
Economic damages are real losses that can be easily measured. These include medical costs, property damage and lost wages. If you had to pay for medical treatment because of an accident, that is economic damage. Fixing or replacing damaged items, like your car, is also part of economic damage. And if you cannot work and lose money during your recovery, that is economic damage too.
Non-economic damages are less easy to measure but just as important. They cover the pain and suffering caused by the injury. Physical pain, feeling depressed and not enjoying life anymore are all part of non-economic damages. If the injury makes it hard for you to do regular activities, these less clear losses may deserve compensation.
Punitive damages have a different job. Unlike economic and non-economic damages, punitive damages are not there to pay you back for what you lost. The courts award punitive damages when the person’s actions are reckless to hold them accountable for their reckless actions. They are not as common as economic and non-economic damages, but punitive measures strive to stop similar careless behavior from happening again.
Unintentional accidents resulted in more than 25.5 million emergency room visits in 2021. After an accident, knowing about these three types of personal injury damages is important to get fair compensation.