Economic Damages

If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else, you could be entitled to compensation for your injuries and losses. In most circumstances, when another party’s negligence, recklessness, or malicious conduct causes an accident, that person is liable for all damages caused by the accident. 

Here’s an in-depth look at economic damages to help accident victims understand the damages they’re entitled to. 

What Are Damages? 

What Are Damages? 

When you’re injured in an accident, the at-fault party is usually responsible for compensating you for your losses. The at-fault party does this by paying you damages. 

Compensatory damages are damages that compensate accident victims for their losses. The goal of compensatory damages is to make victims “whole” – or as close to whole as possible – after an accident. 

Accidents can cause significant financial and emotional hardship for victims. Because of this, there are two primary categories of compensatory damages: economic damages and non-economic damages. 

What Are Economic Damages? 

Economic damages compensate victims for tangible losses. These are actual financial losses that can be calculated and documented. Economic damages reimburse victims for expenses they have incurred because of an accident. 

What Are Non-Economic Damages? 

Non-economic damages compensate victims for less tangible losses from an accident. The purpose of non-economic damages is to compensate victims for the emotional and personal losses that the at-fault party caused. 

For example: 

  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress and emotional anguish
  • Decreased quality of life
  • Loss of consortium 

Non-economic damages can be difficult to calculate. An experienced personal injury lawyer will use witness testimony, expert testimony, journals, and medical records to calculate and support a claim for non-economic damages. 

Economic Damages Available in New York 

Economic damages are a broad category of damages that compensate victims for all tangible losses incurred because of an accident. These include current and future expenses. 

Types of economic damages available in New York include: 

  • Medical expenses. This includes hospital stays, doctor visits, surgery expenses, prescriptions, and medical equipment. 
  • Future medical expenses. Accident victims with ongoing medical issues or a permanent disability from an accident will have future medical expenses. 
  • Rehab and physical therapy costs. Economic damages include the cost of any rehabilitation, physical therapy, occupation therapy, or home care you need after an accident. 
  • Lost wages. Economic damages also include lost income due to your accident. If you are unable to work after an accident or unable to work as much as you did before an accident, you’re entitled to compensation for your lost wages. 
  • Lost earning capacity. Economic damages include lost earning capacity. If you cannot continue doing the same job after an accident or miss a promotion because of your injuries, you’re entitled to compensation for this lost earning potential. 
  • Property damage. Economic damages include the cost of repairing or replacing your car after an accident. They also cover any other type of property damage you sustain in an accident. 
  • Burial expenses. This includes funeral costs if you lose a loved one due to negligence or intentional wrongdoing.

Economic damages include an estimate of future damages. While this isn’t easy to calculate, it’s important to consider ongoing expenses to ensure your future needs are met. 

How Do You Calculate Economic Damages

Economic damages are easier to calculate than non-economic damages. Even so, the process can be complicated. Calculating damages is particularly complex if you have serious injuries that will require ongoing care or have a long-term impact on your professional life. 

A personal injury lawyer can help you gather the evidence you need to calculate economic damages, including the following: 

  • Medical bills 
  • Medical records
  • Pay stubs 
  • Tax returns 
  • Receipts or invoices for repairs 

If you need ongoing care, it’s important to calculate future medical expenses. You will not have another compensation opportunity, so you need to consider future costs when determining your damages. 

This can be complicated, but your personal injury lawyer will calculate future medical expenses using: 

  • Medical records and diagnoses 
  • Physician testimony 
  • Expert witness testimony 

In addition, your lawyer will calculate your lost earning capacity. 

Your legal team will calculate lost earning potential using the following: 

  • Pay stubs and tax returns
  • Employer testimony 
  • Financial experts 
  • Medical records and diagnoses 

An experienced personal injury lawyer can help determine the types of economic damages you’re entitled to. Your lawyer will then work with you to gather the necessary evidence to support your claim. 

Contact a Buffalo Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Recovering Economic Damages

If you’ve been injured in a Buffalo accident, contact a personal injury lawyer from O’Brien & Ford Buffalo Car Accident and Personal Injury Lawyers as soon as possible. Whether you’re injured in a car accident, slip and fall accident, truck accident, workplace accident, or other type of incident, a Buffalo personal injury lawyer can help, call us today at (716) 222-2222

They’ll analyze your case and discuss your rights. An attorney can also investigate your case and gather evidence to support your claim for economic damages.