How Do Non-Economic Damages Work In Pennsylvania?
If you are approaching a personal injury lawsuit in Pennsylvania, you may know that your settlement amount will depend on your damages. There are two types of damages: economic and non-economic. On the one hand, economic damages are very easy to understand, as they are associated with clear financial losses. Examples include medical expenses, missed wages, funeral costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses that might have been caused by accidents.
On the other hand, non-economic damages can be difficult to understand for plaintiffs. These typically revolve around abstract, emotional concepts like distress, pain, shame, humiliation, trauma, and depression. How exactly do you figure out how much money these emotional issues are worth? How can you quantify the level of emotional and mental hardships associated with certain injuries?
Although these issues can be problematic, you can approach them in an efficient, confident manner with the help of a qualified, experienced attorney. Get in touch with a Pennsylvania-based lawyer who handles personal injury lawsuits, and you can start to understand how non-economic damages work. With their help, you can strive for a positive outcome and receive an adequate, fair settlement for these non-economic damages you have suffered.
Why Are Non-Economic Damages Important?
Non-economic damages are important because they typically account for the lion’s share of your settlement. Although you will certainly be compensated for your medical expenses and missed wages, your non-economic damages are what make your settlement quite substantial. For example, your economic damages might amount to $30,000 in missed wages plus $270,000 in medical expenses. This final amount of $300,000 will then be multiplied by a factor that represents your non-economic damages. This is known as a “general damages multiplier.”
So the higher your general damages multiplier, the higher your settlement. Even a slight increase in your multiplier can result in a much higher settlement. For example, an insurance company might argue that your general damages multiplier should be a factor of 2. Your attorney might then negotiate on your behalf, pushing that factor up to 4. This can be the difference between a six-figure settlement and a much less substantial sum.
Examples of Non-Economic Damages
Non-economic damages can take a number of different forms. Perhaps the most common is “pain and suffering.” This is a very general term that represents the emotional hardship associated with an injury. However, you can get much more specific when it comes to non-economic damages.
For example, your injury might have left you with significant facial scars, leaving you disfigured for the rest of your life. This is another legitimate type of non-economic damage, as the consequences of this injury go beyond simply pain and medical costs. Your disfigurement may also impact your romantic prospects, your ability to find a job, and many other aspects of your life.
Enlist the Help of a Qualified Attorney Today
For help from a skilled Scranton personal injury lawyer, contact the Needle Law Firm. We understand that non-economic damages will likely make up a significant portion of your final settlement amount, and we’re ready to fight for your rights in an effective manner. With our assistance, you can pursue justice and recover a settlement that reflects everything you’ve been forced to endure. Book your consultation today, and we can start working on an effective action plan.