What Are Economic And Non-Economic Damages In A Personal Injury Case?

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Economic and non-economic damages in personal injury can sound odd, but they’re quite easy to understand when broken down. If you’ve recently been hurt in an accident, you may be eligible for compensation for your injuries. This can be via an insurance claim and/or a personal injury lawsuit. Compensation for accident victims often splits into two main categories: economic and non-economic damages for personal injuries. In this article, our firm’s personal injury lawyers aim to shed light on these two categories of personal injury damages, emphasizing how they apply to Oklahoma law, and how they can help victims regain their footing after an accident as they pursue justice via a civil case.

Understanding Economic Damages In A Personal Injury Case

When comparing economic and non-economic damages in personal injury, economic damages are often the easiest to prove. Economic damages refer to the compensation a victim receives for monetary losses incurred due to the injury. These are often straightforward, quantifiable costs from your accident and subsequent injury. The following are some examples of monetary economic damages:

Medical Expenses

Medical costs typically make up a significant portion of economic damages in a personal injury case. This category can include expenses related to hospital stays, surgery, medication, physical therapy. This can even mean future medical care, if it’s a requirement. Further, in Oklahoma, the the minimum liability requirements for car insurance after causing bodily injuries while operating a vehicle is up to $50,000.00.

Lost Wages And Lost Earning Capacity

If your injury forces you to miss work or reduces your ability to earn in the future, you’re entitled to compensation for those lost wages and any diminishing earning capacity. Lost wages refer to the income you lose while recovering, whereas lost earning capacity pertains to future income losses because of long-term effects of your injuries.

Property Damage

In a car accident case, there’s often significant damage to your vehicle. Property damage compensation covers the repair or replacement cost of your car and any other damaged personal belongings. Additionally, in Oklahoma, the minimum liability requirements for car insurance after causing property damage to a vehicle is up to $25,000.00.

Oklahoma’s Laws On Economic Damages

Oklahoma law, specifically Title 23 Section 61.2 of the Oklahoma Statutes, places no cap on economic damages. This means there’s no upper limit on the amount you can recover for these specific losses.

Understanding Non-Economic Damages In A Personal Injury Case

Non-economic damages are more subjective and less tangible than economic damages. As a result, they’re more difficult for a personal injury lawyer to calculate within the context of a victim’s accident claims. They’re there to compensate for the non-monetary implications of an injury. Below are some examples of non-economic damages that can result from a personal injury case.

Pain And Suffering

This includes the physical pain and discomfort caused by the injuries sustained in an accident. Pain and suffering also encompass the mental anguish or emotional distress that arises from the accident or injuries.

Loss Of Consortium

Loss of consortium refers to the adverse effects an injury can have on your relationship with your spouse. This can include loss of companionship, affection, and support.

Emotional Distress

Serious accidents often lead to emotional distress, which can manifest in various ways, such as anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

Loss Of Enjoyment Of Life

If your injury prevents you from participating in hobbies, recreational activities, or other experiences that you once enjoyed, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.

Oklahoma’s Laws On Non-Economic Damages

In contrast to economic damages, Oklahoma does limit the amount that can be recovered for non-economic damages. Per Title 23 Section 61.2 of the Oklahoma Statutes, non-economic damages are typically capped at $350,000. However, there are exceptions to this cap. This can happen if the defendant acted in a negligent, reckless, or intentional manner resulting in the injury.

How To Claim Economic And Non-Economic Damages

In order to claim economic and non-economic damages, you usually must first file a claim with an insurance company. This can be done by yourself or sometimes by your legal counsel that you hire, but the sooner the better. In the event you do not have the insurance information, a lawyer can help you begin the process of obtaining it or filing a lawsuit. This usually consists of the lawyer reaching out to the at-fault driver through a letter demanding insurance information. If the at-fault driver does not respond in the time they are given, the lawyer will file suit.

Upon initiating a claim or lawsuit, documentation must be gathered to prove your need for compensation. Once the insurance or court receives the proof of damages, the insurance can make an offer or the court will make a ruling. This makes it important to document and keep all medical records, paystubs, and any other paperwork that relates to your accident. Without those things, it is extremely difficult to show that you are needing compensation.

Personal Injury Lawyers In Tulsa

Understanding the distinction between economic and non-economic damages – let alone punitive damages – in a personal injury case is crucial. This helps to to ensure that you receive the compensation you’re entitled to. Our dedicated personal injury attorneys are well-versed in Oklahoma’s laws and are here to help car accident victims recover the maximum compensation available. If you or a loved one have been involved in a car accident, contact the personal injury lawyer team at Kania Law Office at (918) 743-2233 or contact us online today. Our team will discuss your case effectively and give personalized guidance from one of our a respected personal injury attorneys. We will put your needs first.

Tulsa's Local Personal Injury Lawyers

Law ScaleAre you looking for Tulsa attorneys who will fight aggressively for you? Our team of personal injury attorneys have the experience needed in Oklahoma law to secure the outcome you deserve.

Call us today for a free consultation 918-743-2233 or contact us online.