Apr 12, 2023 | Car Accident

Economic Damages in a Car Accident Claim

You have the right to file an injury claim or lawsuit if you were injured by another driver in an automobile accident. If successful, you’ll recover what the law terms as “damages.” Damages simply means the compensation that you’ll receive for your injuries. Perhaps the most common category of damages includes “economic damages.”

What are Economic Damages?

Economic damages refer to your losses to which a specific dollar amount can be assigned. These damages are sometimes referred to as “special damages.” Compensation for economic damages is designed to repay you for “out-of-pocket” amounts that either:

  • You’ve already spent because of your car accident injuries, or
  • You will have to spend in the future because of your car accident injuries.

Examples of economic damages include:

  • Past and future medical expenses,
  • Lost wages,
  • Lost future earning capacity, and
  • Property damage.

Property damage in a car collision can include such things as damage to your vehicle or damage to your personal property (for example, a watch or something that you were transporting in your vehicle).

You typically prove your economic damages using such evidence as:

  • Medical bills,
  • Wage records/statements from your employer,
  • Receipts, and
  • Estimates from repair stores/shops.

Are Non-Economic Damages Different?

Yes. Non-economic damages refer to a separate category of compensation that you may recover in an auto accident case. They are sometimes referred to as “general damages.”

Unlike economic damages, non-economic damages do not necessarily involve out-of-pocket expenses or a particular sum of money. They are more subjective in nature and may include such things as:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Emotional distress and mental anguish,
  • Physical impairment (such as loss of the use of a limb),
  • Disfigurement,
  • Unjust hardship,
  • Loss of consortium,
  • Inconvenience, and
  • Loss of enjoyment of life.

Even though these losses don’t come with a specific dollar amount assigned, you can still prove them using such things as:

  • Medical records,
  • Witness statements (for example, statements from family members who observe your pain or see your suffering),
  • Diary entries, and
  • Photos of your injuries.

Do Damage Caps apply?

Washington laws do not impose any caps on the amount of damages that you can recover in an auto accident case. The result is that, if you win your case, you can get a judgement for whatever amount of money the jury awards you for your losses. This is true unless the judge or a higher court reduces the award.

Contact the Premier Injury Law Firm for Help

If you or a loved one was injured in an auto accident or a rideshare accident, please know that the Premier Injury Law Firm is here to help. Our legal team is skilled, experienced, and passionate in their representation. Let us shoulder the burden of an injury claim or lawsuit while you focus on healing from your injuries. Contact us today for the quality legal help you deserve.