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What is the Difference Between Economic and Noneconomic Damages?

Both economic and noneconomic damages are at issue in personal injury cases. Whether injuries result from a motor vehicle accident, a slip and fall accident, or other some type of incident, an individual whose negligent actions have caused injuries may be liable for damages stemming from those injuries.

Economic damages are the monetary losses related to an accident involving injuries. These damages are relatively easy to value in dollars and cents, because they often involve bills for goods and services. For instance if your car is damaged in an accident, the negligent person may be liable for property damages, such as the bill for repairing or replacing your car. Other economic damages might include medical bills, ambulance service expenses, and physical therapy costs.

On the other hand, noneconomic damages are much more difficult to value in terms of compensation. These are hardships suffered as a result of an accident that don’t necessarily have a monetary value. Therefore, it can take complex analysis in order to place a value on these damages. Noneconomic damages are capped under Wisconsin law at a total of $750,000. Some examples of noneconomic damages might be emotional distress, which encompasses conditions like depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Loss of companionship refers to the loss of a relationship with a spouse or other family member. Another type of noneconomic damages is disability and disfigurement. While you can’t really place a value on a permanent disfigurement resulting from an accident, and money will not fix the problem, you do deserve compensation for these types of hardships, as well.

Determining the full extent of economic and noneconomic damages in a personal injury case can be extremely complex. As a result, you will need an experienced personal injury lawyer to guide you through the claims process as appropriate. Each type of claim has strict requirements and deadlines that a claimant must meet in order to maintain a successful claim. Boller & Vaughan are Wisconsin motor vehicle accident lawyers who dedicate their practice to protecting the interests of the injured and their families. Contact our office today to set up your free consultation and learn what options are available to you.