Phoenix, AZ – Any accident has a number of different tangible costs related to things like medical treatment, lost wages, and vehicle repairs. However, the civil law also allows for a number of non-economic damages related to emotional pain, suffering, trauma, and psychological problems to be collected after a lawsuit. A civil injury lawsuit is the only way to recover these types of damages, as most insurance policies do not factor these intangible losses.
Economic versus non-economic damages
Usually, the process to calculate economic damages is fairly straightforward based on costs listed on invoices, bills, and other documents. These numbers can be extracted from vehicle damage estimates, hospital and medical treatment forms, proof of wages and income, and any other items that show direct costs that can be attributed to the accident. There is an entirely different category of damages available to the victim that has absolutely nothing to do with these financial losses. These are non-economic damages, which are related to intangible losses caused by an accident such as emotional pain, trauma, stress, and psychological issues. These kinds of damages are normally most relevant after someone has experienced a life changing disability due to an injury or has a family member pass away.
The state’s non-economic damages laws
Arizona has some specific rules regarding how an attorney can argue for non-economic damages and the amount of money that their client will receive. Some clients are advised to start to list things that they cannot do, which do not necessarily have a dollar amount attached to them. This can include things like missing family events or feeling too depressed to accomplish goals. Some people may even lose the opportunities to maintain relationships and friendships, which start to affect their social life and sense of well being.
There are also costs associated with physical pain that a victim feels. Evidence of prescription medications and a doctor’s testimony can be used to show that a plaintiff is in fact in constant pain due to legitimate medical problems. This type of bodily pain can be factored into non-economic damages.
In addition to these two categories, there are a third kind of damages available in some cases under Arizona law. These are punitive damages. They are usually meant to punish a defendant for reckless and malicious behavior, and they can become quite large in serious accident cases.
Accident attorneys are available in the Phoenix area
Anyone who was injured and wants more information about the process of bringing a lawsuit and receiving compensation can schedule a meeting with a local lawyer. Southwest Injury Law is an experienced firm that regularly meets with victims of motor vehicle crashes.
Firm contact info:
4425 North 24th St., Ste. 225, Phoenix, AZ 85016