Beyond Medical Bills: Understanding Damages in Personal Injury Lawsuits

Ahmed Sheeraz

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People who sustain injuries because of others’ negligence or harmful acts, normally pursue compensation through the personal injury lawsuits. In these trials, one key consideration is the concept of injury. Losses are addressed by damages which are the amount of money that the victim of an accident or incident is awarded for his/her losses and injuries.

In personal injury lawsuits, damages are designed to make up for all types of losses and cover medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and other related costs. Knowing the types of damages and how they are measured is a key thing for plaintiffs and for defendants who are involved in these legal proceedings.

Thus, we are analyzing the distinctions of damages in personal injuries cases covering different types of damages, factors influencing the awards of the damages and the significance of getting fair and just compensation for victims of negligence or wrong-doing. The best car accident lawyer in houston tx says that by possessing a real broad comprehension, people are enabled to go through the legal process more conveniently and try to obtain a successful outcome in their personal injury cases.

Economic Damages

In personal injury litigation, the types of damages that are called ‘economic’ refer to the money losses that accrued directly because of the injury or accident. Economical damages are tangible that can be fairly assessed, whereas non-economic damages are intangible and subjective to personal evaluations. 

These losses should be calculated and covered by the defendant. The plaintiff has a right to receive compensation for the financial losses he or she has suffered as a result of the accident. These can be: 

  • Medical expenses account for all genuine and necessary medical expenses of the plaintiff that are made in connection with the treatment of their injuries. It takes care of costs like that of hospital charges, surgeries, doctors’ visits, meds, physical therapy, and rehabilitation services.
  • Besides the plaintiff’s property, compensation for the repair or replacement costs is also available if their vehicle was damaged at the time of the accident.
  • If the defendant caused damage to the claimant’s property (i.e., their vehicle), the claimant is entitled to reimbursement of repair or replacement costs. Economic damages property damage economic include costs connected with the remodeling or replacements of the damaged property, such as vehicle repairs, rental cars, and damage to personal belongings.

Non-Economic Damages

In personal injury cases, the damages that are non-economic refer to the amounts of money that are awarded for the intangible losses which are very difficult to be quantified in monetary terms. While economic damages comprise actual monetary losses such as medical costs and lost earnings, non-economic damages are meant to pay for the physical, emotional and mental damages caused by the injury or accident.

  • Injuries causing pain and suffering are intended to compensate the plaintiff for the physical pain, suffering, and discomfort that he or she went or is going through as a result of the accident. This cover all the acute pain at the moment of the accident and all the on-going or chronic pain that prevail during the recovery period. Besides the physical harm, suffering and pain also affect the emotional and mental wellbeing with symptoms like depression, stress, and loss of interest in activities that are usually enjoyable.
  • Emotional distress covers the psychological component that represents the illness of the injury on the plaintiff’s mental health. This could manifest in the form of symptoms such as anxiety, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), insomnia, and other symptoms of emotional confusion as a consequence of the accident or injury. Emotional distress may be used in the hope to obtain compensation for the plaintiff for the psychological injury caused by the traumatization and its aftermath.
  • In addition to economic harms, a non-economic damage can be the compensation for a permanent disability, impairment or deformity which happened due to the injury. The disability may include the multitude of physical disabilities that lead to the plaintiff’s reduced mobility, functionality, or appearance, as well as the psychological impact on body image and social stigma.

Economic damages are generally more objective and uniform across cases while non-economic damages vary based on the severity of injury, degree of pain and suffering experienced and other individual factors. Even though the non-economic damages are frequently hard to be assigned dollar values, they are very essential to be used so that injured parties are fully compensated for all their intangible harm suffered.


Regarding the personal injury lawsuits, we shall see that economic damages are generally computed based on the documents to prove them, e.g. medical bills, pay slips, tax returns, and receipts. Plaintiffs must keep an independent record of costs they incurred as a result of their injuries to ensure they are fully compensated regarding their economic losses. On the other hand, non-economic damages may be seen as subjective since the amount of compensation may differ in different cases depending on the seriousness of the injury, the plaintiff’s personal pain and suffering, and other factors.

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