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What Are Non-Economic Damages?

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What Are Non-Economic Damages?

After a personal injury or accident, a common question our Minneapolis personal injury lawyers receive is, “How much is my injury claim worth?” Accident victims in Minnesota can recover a variety of damages in a personal injury case. Damages can include punitive and compensatory damages.

Non-economic damages are considered compensatory damages. These damages compensate an accident victim for the pain and suffering caused by another person’s negligence and wrongdoing. 

Common types of non-economic damages in Minnesota personal injury cases include, but are not limited to:

Physical Pain and Suffering

Physical Pain and Suffering

Injuries can cause a person to experience pain and discomfort. The level of pain depends on the type and extent of the injury. It also depends on the person’s tolerance for pain. 

Diminished Quality of Life and Loss of Enjoyment of Life

Accident victims might not be able to engage in the same activities they enjoyed before the accident. Additionally, a victim might not be able to perform standard tasks required to care for themselves, their home, and their family. The result could be a decrease in the person’s enjoyment and quality of life.

Emotional Distress and Mental Anguish

The trauma of being injured and/or being involved in an accident can cause psychological damages. An accident victim might develop PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), chronic depression, anxiety, and other emotional disorders. Emotional distress and mental anguish can also result in physical symptoms, including high blood pressure, eating disorders, sleep problems, and anxiety attacks.

Scarring, Disfigurement, Impairments, and Disabilities

An accident victim can receive compensation when an injury or accident results in significant scarring, amputations, loss of limbs, and other disfigurements. They might also receive an amount for the damages caused by permanent disabilities and impairments. 

Loss of Consortium 

A loss of consortium claim is filed by certain family members of the injured party. The claim seeks compensation for the family’s non-economic damages because their loved one sustained an injury. For example, a spouse might claim a loss of love, guidance, financial support, sexual relations, and companionship.

How Do You Calculate the Value of Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

There is no standard formula used to calculate how much pain and suffering damages are worth. Instead, each case is judged on its unique facts and circumstances. 

Factors to consider when determining the value of non-economic damages include, but are not limited to:

  • How the injured party appeared before and after the accident
  • Whether the person sustains permanent impairments or disabilities
  • The duration of the victim’s recovery
  • The type and extent of the medical treatment and rehabilitation 
  • How the victim’s injuries impact their daily life, activities, and ability to care for their family
  • Whether the person can return to normal activities 
  • The level of inconvenience caused by the personal injury

Unfortunately, it is difficult to place a price on a person’s pain and suffering. Everyone’s experience is different. However, many courts use the multiplier method to calculate the value of non-economic damages. 

A number between 1.5 and five is chosen based on the relevant factors in the case. The more severe the injuries and damages, the higher the number. That number is multiplied by the total economic (financial) damages to calculate the value of non-economic compensatory damages. 

The Impact of Comparative Fault on Non-Economic Damages in Minnesota

Minnesota’s modified comparative fault statute does not bar an injured party from receiving compensation if they are partially to blame for causing their injuries unless their level of fault is 51% or greater. In other words, if a jury finds that you are 51% or more at fault for causing the accident, you cannot receive any compensation for damages.

However, suppose the jury finds you were 30% to blame for causing a car crash. In that case, you could receive 70% of the value of your damages. Comparative fault reduces the amount of your compensation for damages by the percentage of fault assigned to you.

What Is the Deadline for Filing a Claim for Non-Economic Damages in Minnesota?

The Minnesota statute of limitations sets deadlines for personal injury claims. Therefore, it is best to speak with a Minneapolis personal injury lawyer as soon as possible to avoid losing your right to pursue a legal claim against the party who caused your injury.

Contact a Minneapolis Personal Injury Lawyer for Help Pursuing Your Non-Economic Damages

An experienced attorney will document your damages to maximize the amount you receive in your personal injury claim. Contact or call Hall Law Personal Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Minneapolis personal injury attorney at (800) 292-1979.

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