After an accident, you are entitled to compensation from the at-fault party for any expenses you incurred as a result of the accident. This compensation is referred to as damages.
In most personal injury cases, there are two types of damages you can recover: economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages include costs such as your medical expenses, property damage, and lost wages caused by the injury. They are straightforward and easy to prove with documentation like invoices, bills, and pay stubs.
Non-economic damages are not financial losses. They are the more subjective effects of the accident, like pain and suffering, which are harder to quantify. Non-economic damages will compensate for your losses that don’t have a price tag.
Breaking Down Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages represent the intangibles left to recover after the past and future bills have been accounted for and the damaged property has been repaired or replaced. They cover what the accident has done to you as a person and your ability to enjoy life day to day.
In Nevada, the following can be used as a basis to claim non-economic damages.
- Pain and Suffering. This is the ongoing chronic pain and discomfort you will have to endure because of your accident.
- Disfigurement. An accident that left you scarred or injured for the rest of your life can change everything for you emotionally and psychologically. You will feel those effects every moment for the rest of your life.
- Mental Anguish. Grief and trauma from an accident can stay with you for the long term. You are entitled to compensation for that anguish.
- Loss of Enjoyment. When your injuries from the accident prevent you from doing things you used to enjoy before the accident, like playing tennis or mountain biking for example.
- Damage to Your Reputation and Social Standing. This is when your accident prevents you from taking part in the activities of your community in the manner you did before the accident.
In Nevada, sustaining a physical injury isn’t a requirement to recover damages for non-economic damages. But a physical injury will increase your chances of recovering non-economic damages.
Are Non-Economic Damages Hard to Prove?
There are several ways to show the insurance company, jury, or judge that you are deserving of non-economic damages.
Typical ways of proving pain and suffering include the following.
- Showing Your Medical records. All doctor and therapist treatment notes, plus x-rays and other medical images go a long way in telling the story of your injury and its impact on your life. The more documentation, the better. Also important is to show you were a reliable and compliant patient who didn’t miss appointments and followed doctors and therapist orders and treatment plans.
- Tell your story with pictures and videos. Compile photographs and videos of you before the accident and then after the accident. If possible, chronicle your treatment and recovery in videos so the jury, judge, or insurance company can see how you are dealing with your challenges.
- Write everything down. You are the best reporter of your life. If you can, keep a daily journal where you record every day how you are feeling as a result of the accident. Note things like if you missed work, slept poorly from stress or pain, or missed a child’s recital.
- Online and digital documentation. Be mindful of your social media presence. Are your posts showing that you are recovering from a serious injury? Keep all texts and emails that make reference to your injury and your state of mind after the accident.
- Gather people who can testify to what you’re going through. Hearing your story from others like friends, family, therapists, and co-workers can be very compelling. Their anecdotes and observations can speak to the ways you have changed since the accident.
- Therapist observations. These can be very helpful in explaining the nature of your mental anguish claims.
A Las Vegas personal injury attorney will help you set out your claim for non-economic damages in the most effective way possible.
Does Nevada Limit Non-Economic Damages?
In most personal injury cases, there isn’t a limit to how much you can receive in non-economic damages. However, in medical malpractice cases, you can only collect up to $350,000 in non-economic damages.
Contact a Las Vegas Personal Injury Law Firm for Help with Non-Economic Damages
If you’ve been in an accident, the chances are that you need help wading through the waters of an injury, property damage, and missed time at work. Accidents don’t have just a financial impact but often cause emotional and psychological upheaval as well.
Don’t face this trying time alone. Contact an experienced personal injury firm like Battle Born Injury Lawyers to sort out the details and get the compensation you are entitled to, call us at (702) 570-9000.