When a plaintiff files a civil lawsuit, their main goal is often to claim damages and recover financial compensation. Economic damages are one significant factor that must be considered in any lawsuit.
Economic damages are the losses and injuries a plaintiff suffered that came with an economical cost. If you lost or had to spend money because of the injuries you experienced, you can claim those financial losses as economic damages. There are numerous forms of economic damages, including medical costs, lost wages, the cost of repairing destroyed property, and many others. While there are no statutory limits on economic damages in Arkansas, you cannot claim greater compensation than your economic damages’ actual monetary value. To establish these damages in court and get the compensation you are entitled to, we need to present evidence of your injuries and the defendant’s negligence.
If you want to file a civil claim, such as a personal injury lawsuit, our Arkansas personal injury lawyers can help you collect evidence to prove your economic damages. For a free assessment of your case, call our offices at (479) 316-0438.
Identifying Economic Damages in Arkansas
Economic damages are all the financial losses you incurred because of injuries you sustained in an accident or because of someone else’s negligence. To calculate economic damages, we must add up the bills, receipts, pay stubs, or other financial records related to your injuries. The trick is identifying all the economic damages you can claim, as some are overlooked by injured plaintiffs. Our Bella Vista personal injury attorneys are here to help you understand your total economic losses so you do not miss out on any compensation.
Medical bills are some of the biggest sources of economic damages in many personal injury lawsuits. Plaintiffs often suffer severe injuries, and their medical expenses are very high. For example, after a negligent driver injures you in a car accident, you might need emergency medical care, ambulance rides, surgery, pain medication, x-rays, and more.
Even with health insurance, medical bills can be very costly. Health insurance policies usually require people to pay a deductible before the insurance company covers any costs. The deductible can sometimes be very high, and you can claim this cost as part of your economic damages even if your health insurance covers everything else.
When people are injured, they sometimes have difficulty returning to work. In severe cases, they might not be able to return to work indefinitely or ever. You can claim any income you lose due to your injuries as part of your economic damages. To calculate these losses, we need to know how much you earned before your injuries and how much time you lost from work. Of course, the value of these damages depends on your earnings. The more you earn at your job, the greater your economic damages.
Economic damages may continue to rack up well past the date of your accident or injuries. People often must continue spending money to adjust to new living conditions or accommodate their recovery process. One such example is travel expenses. It is not unusual for injured plaintiffs to travel for medical care or physical therapy. If your injuries are very severe or involve specialized medical treatment, you might have to travel to find doctors with the skills to provide treatment.
Plane tickets, fuel costs, hotel stays, food, and any other expenses you incur from traveling because of your injuries may be added to your economic damages. For example, suppose you must make a trip across the country to see a medical specialist for your injuries. In that case, you can claim the cost of your plane ticket, hotel, and daily living expenses during the trip as part of your economic damages. You must save all records and receipts related to your travels.
Your physical injuries are not the only injuries you can claim as part of your personal injury lawsuit. You can also claim the value of any property or personal belongings that were lost or destroyed in the accident or incident. For example, after a car accident, you can claim the value of your vehicle among your economic damages. As with your other economic damages, keeping track of records and receipts for these expenses is important. If you had to have your vehicle repaired, the receipt from the auto mechanic should be saved.
Your economic losses might not end in the days and weeks after your injuries. Many plaintiffs report paying for their injuries for many months or even years. For example, if you are so badly injured that you are unable to return to work at all, you can not only claim the money you have lost from missing work but also the future income you will miss out on. Things like promotions and pay increases you would have reasonably expected may also be considered.
Are There Limits to Economic Damages in Arkansas?
There are no statutory limits imposed on economic damages. Economic damages may be as high or as low as necessary, and there are no caps. However, that does not mean you can claim high economic damages on small losses. While there are no statutory caps, you cannot claim economic damages greater than the amount of money you lost or spent.
Take economic damages for medical bills, for example. If you spent $25,000 on medical treatment, your economic damages are not subject to statutory limitations, but you cannot claim more than $25,000. Claiming greater damages than you lost would constitute artificially inflating your damages, which is not legal. Our Bentonville personal injury lawyers can help you determine the maximum amount of economic damages available in your case.
Injured plaintiffs often want to claim greater damages because they want to punish the defendant or because they believe they deserve as much for all their pain. These damages might be available in your case, but they are non-economic and punitive and are subject to different rules and calculations.
Call Our Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Case Assessment
If you were hurt and want to recover compensation for the economic damages you incurred, call our Harris personal injury lawyers for help. For a free case review, call our offices at (479) 316-0438.