September 8, 2014
How are Non-Economic Damages Calculated in an Injury Case?
Preventable accidents injure thousands of Americans each day, sometimes seriously. These accidents can range from workplace accidents, motor vehicle crashes, slip and falls, or injuries caused by consumer products. In order to compensate victims for their losses, Pennsylvania law allows individuals injured in preventable accidents to bring a personal injury claim against the party or parties responsible for their injuries. The Philadelphia personal injury lawyers of The Levin Firm are seasoned advocates who are committed to helping the victims of negligence recover for their injuries.
The types of losses that are compensable after a preventable accident will vary depending on the circumstances of an injury, but can be generally grouped into 2 types: economic and noneconomic losses. Economic losses are generally simple to ascertain, as they have a fixed monetary value. Examples of economic losses can include medical expenses, lost income, loss of future earnings, or property damage. Noneconomic losses, on the other the other hand, require the jury to put a value the following losses, if they exist: pain and suffering, embarrassment and humiliation, loss of the ability to enjoy the pleasures of life, and disfigurement. Because these kinds of losses cannot be quantified, the Pennsylvania jury instructions require the jury to consider the following factors:
- The age of the victim
- The severity of his or her injuries
- Whether the injuries sustained are temporary or permanent
- The extent to which the injuries affect the ability of the injured party to perform basic activities of daily living and other activities in which he or she was previously engaged
- The duration and nature of any medical treatment that was or will be received
- The length of time and the extent of the physical pain and mental anguish that the victim has experienced in the past and will experience in the future
- The health and physical condition of the injured party before the injuries at issue were sustained
- In cases involving disfigurement, the nature of the disfigurement and the consequences to the plaintiff