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Personal injury victims are often able to recover compensation from the individual or entity who caused them harm. If an injury victim’s claim is successful, they are typically able to recover both economic and non-economic damages from the at-fault party or through an insurance settlement. Here, we want to examine the difference between economic and non-economic damages when it comes to an Arizona personal injury claim.

economic vs non economic damages

Economic Damages (Special Damages)

After an injury occurs, the injury victim will likely experience various types of calculable, obvious expenses. These types of damages verifiable damages are referred to as economic damages. An injury victim, along with their attorney, will work to gather receipts, invoices, estimates, and other bills that come in relating to the incident and the aftermath.

Some of the most common types of economic damages associated with an injury claim in Arizona include:

  • Emergency medical expenses
  • Surgical care
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation
  • Medical devices or prescription medications
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning potential
  • Property damage expenses
  • Out-of-pocket losses resulting from the incident

Individuals can recover an unlimited amount of economic damages after an Arizona personal injury occurs, provided the victim is able to adequately establish these damages. In other words, there are no caps or limitations to how much economic damages a person can receive for their claim.

Non-Economic Damages (General Damages)

Individuals who sustain injuries often incur various types of unseen losses. These more immeasurable types of losses are referred to as non-economic damages, and they are harder to calculate because there are not necessarily receipts or bills that can be gathered and totaled.

These types of losses revolve around an injury victim’s:

  • Physical pain and suffering caused by the incident
  • Emotional and psychological pain and suffering
  • Loss of enjoyment of life damages
  • Scarring and disfigurement damages
  • Disabilities and permanent impairment damages

Instead of examining receipts and bills to directly calculate non-economic damages, an attorney will use the economic damages mentioned above and multiply the total by a set number (typically a number ranging from 1.5 to 5) to come up with the non-economic damage total.

For example, if an individual sustained $100,000 worth of economic damages as a result of a commercial truck collision caused by the negligence of a truck driver, an attorney could use a multiplier of “three” to calculate a non-economic damage total of $300,000. There are other calculation methods for non-economic damages, and we encourage you to speak to your attorney about this calculation process.

As with economic damages, there are no non-economic damage caps or limitations in the state of Arizona. This includes medical malpractice cases.

Consult an Experienced Arizona Personal Injury Lawyer

If you or someone you love had been injured due to the negligent actions of another individual, entity, or business in Arizona, we encourage you to contact an attorney immediately. A personal injury lawyer in Phoenix can examine the facts of your case and offer advice about your possible next steps. In order to successfully recover compensation, you have to prove that the other party was negligent, and this takes considerable effort. Let an attorney guide you through this process and help you secure the compensation you need.