Personal injury cases and other civil lawsuits center on the damages experienced by the plaintiff. Among these are non-economic damages, which are sometimes tricky to understand because they are unconnected to an actual monetary value.
Non-economic damages may include injuries that did not necessarily cost you money but still came at a high mental or physical cost. Courts cannot resolve or undo these injuries, so financial compensation is the only option. Depending on the circumstances, mental and physical pain and suffering, humiliation, reputational damage, and other non-economic damages may be claimed. While no caps or limitations are placed on non-economic damages by statue, our calculations should still be reasonable and based on evidence. Proving the value of non-economic damages might require witnesses who can testify about your injuries’ negative impact on your life.
Your losses are more than money, bills, and invoices from paying for injuries. Non-economic damages reflect the emotional and physical toll the injuries have taken on you and your life. Call our Arkansas personal injury lawyers about your case today at (479) 316-0438.
Determining Non-Economic Damages in your Case in Arkansas
Just as there are numerous economic damages a plaintiff might claim in their lawsuit, various non-economic damages influence your total damages calculations. Non-economic damages are less concrete and open to interpretation, so it can be difficult for the average person to estimate these damages without the help of a lawyer. Our Bella Vista personal injury attorneys can help you determine what non-economic damages apply to your case.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are perhaps one of the most commonly claimed forms of non-economic damages in personal injury lawsuits. The form of damages is broad and encompasses the general physical pain and emotional or mental trauma that injured plaintiffs endured because of their injuries. In many cases, pain and suffering are extreme, and damages may be very high.
For example, suppose a plaintiff’s leg was so injured in a car accident that doctors had no choice but to amputate it. Not only did the plaintiff go through intense physical pain and agony from the accident and the amputation surgery, but they must emotionally come to terms with losing a limb. They must learn to live with only one leg instead of two, and that kind of trauma deserves compensation.
The negligence of defendants does not only hurt many plaintiffs, but they are also deeply embarrassed or humiliated by it. This is often the case when the injuries are very personal or occur in a public setting.
Some injuries affect the plaintiff’s personal life in a very humiliating way. For example, you might be injured in such a way that you cannot use the bathroom without another person’s assistance. In other cases, the injury leads to sexual dysfunction or impotence. In either situation, the plaintiff may feel very humiliated, and they can claim this embarrassment as part of their non-economic damages.
Damage to Your Reputation
You can also include damage to your reputation in your calculations of non-economic damages. This is not present in every case but might be a factor in specific situations. For example, someone who drives for a living might experience damage to their professional reputation after a car accident even though another driver was responsible for the crash. Similarly, a bodybuilder or professional athlete might see their reputation tarnished if they are badly injured, cannot exercise or train for a long time, and lose strength and athletic ability. This form of non-economic damages is a bit more unusual, and you should speak to our Greenland personal injury attorneys if you think it applies to your case.
Loss of Consortium or Companionship
The loss of consortium or companionship is a very specific non-economic damage that usually comes up in wrongful death cases. The loss of consortium refers to a loss of an intimate relationship, often with a spouse, and may include the loss of love, affection, and physical intimacy. The loss of companionship is similar, although less intimate, and may apply in cases where you lose someone very close.
Loss of Quality of Life
Even if naming specific non-economic damages is difficult, or if your losses involve overlapping damages, we can claim compensation for your overall loss of quality of life. To prove these claims, we can point to things like permanent or long-term physical impairments or disfigurements. We can also present expert testimony from a mental health professional who can testify about your mental health. People who experience injuries because of the actions of others often report feeling depressed, anxious, or even symptoms of PTSD.
Caps and Limitations on Non-Economic Damages in Arkansas
There are no caps or statutory limits on non-economic damages in most cases. However, the value of your non-economic damages might be heavily influenced by the cost of your non-economic damages. You might expect non-economic damages for similar values if you incur very high economic damages. This is not necessarily a hard rule but is a good guidepost when considering damages.
According to the Arkansas Constitution Art. 5 § 32, the government is prohibited from establishing limits on compensatory damages, including economic and non-economic damages. Our Rogers personal injury attorneys can help you plead for the greatest compensation based on your non-economic losses and injuries.
How to Prove and Calculate Non-Economic Damages in Arkansas
Proving non-economic damages is tricky because hard evidence of subjective experiences is hard to come by. In many cases, attorneys use the severity of economic losses to bolster their arguments for equally high non-economic damages. Additionally, compassion from jurors is a significant driving force behind awards for non-economic damages.
Depending on your case, we can bring in witnesses and expert witnesses to testify about how your injuries have affected you. For example, a medical doctor could explain the severity of your physical injuries and what kind of pain you endured. A mental health professional like a therapist or psychiatrist can evaluate you and testify about your mental state. Even people in your everyday life can testify about the changes in your personality and demeanor since you were injured.
Call Our Arkansas Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Evaluation of Your Case
Our Springdale personal injury attorneys can go over your case with you and help you figure out what kind of non-economic damages are available in your case. Hopefully, we can maximize your compensation so you can recover with peace of mind. Call our offices at (479) 316-0438 for a free case evaluation.