After a car accident occurs, victims will typically seek damages from the at-fault party for medical expenses, vehicle damage, and other financial costs related to the collision.

But there’s another type of damages that you may also be able to claim if you were the victim of a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else: non-economic damages.

Non-economic damages in Maine car accident cases typically include physical pain and suffering, emotional pain and suffering, loss of consortium, and more. Even though these losses are non-financial, they are still losses and can therefore be compensated financially.

If you have endured physical and emotional pain and suffering due to an auto accident, get in touch with one of our injury attorneys at Mann Law for a free consultation today.

Understanding Non-Economic Damages

Suppose you experienced significant physical pain, emotional distress, or any other type of mental and emotional suffering due to being involved in an accident.

In that case, you could be entitled to claim compensation for non-economic losses in addition to financial expenses like medical costs, lost wages, and vehicle damage.

Physical Pain and Suffering

“Pain and suffering” is a legal phrase used to describe the physical and emotional pain that many individuals endure as a result of being involved in a motor vehicle accident.

Physical pain and suffering may stem from a large variety of injuries, often resulting in chronic pain that lasts weeks, months, or even years. Some common injuries that can lead to physical pain and suffering include:

Some injuries also have delayed symptoms, such as whiplash, which can cause chronic pain for years after an accident has occurred.

Mental/Emotional Pain and Suffering

Non-economic losses aren’t just physical. Many auto accident victims also endure mental and emotional pain and suffering after a collision. Common types of mental and emotional suffering include:

  • PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder)
  • Psychological trauma
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Fear
  • Emotional detachment
  • Avoidance behaviors
  • Grief
  • Cognitive changes to memory, personality, emotion, and reasoning due to a traumatic brain injury
  • Agitation
  • Insomnia
  • Anger and frustration

Car crash victims may experience emotional/mental suffering for a very long time after the accident. It can affect virtually every area of a person’s life, from their relationships, to their careers, and much more.

Loss of Consortium

When a car accident results in a person’s death, the deceased’s family can often bring a wrongful death claim against the party who caused the collision and hold them accountable for their negligence.

Another type of non-economic loss that qualifies for compensation after a car crash is loss of consortium. This is a specific type of suffering that applies to the victim’s loved ones. It encompasses a family’s loss of:

  • Parental care and guidance
  • Companionship
  • Love
  • Affection
  • Marital intimacy
  • Household services

When a family loses a loved one to a preventable accident, they may receive special compensation for the pain and suffering brought on by wrongful death.

How Are Non-Economic Losses Calculated? 

Insurers and local courts consider various factors when determining what type of non-economic damages may be awarded to an individual who has endured pain and suffering in an auto collision. Some of the factors that they will consider include:

  • The seriousness of the victim’s physical injuries
  • The atrocity of actions taken by the at-fault party
  • The effect that the accident has had on your life and emotional wellbeing
  • Your employment status
  • Your chances of recovery and length of time needed to make a full recovery
  • The pain and suffering endured by people with similar injuries to yours
  • The medical care you have received and will continue to receive
  • The likely outcome of your injury

Quantifying pain and suffering can be more complicated than calculating medical expenses. An experienced Maine attorney will have the knowledge and experience to help you calculate the non-economic damages you are owed so that you can fight for the amount you deserve.

How to Prove Non-Economic Damages 

If you wish to claim compensation for the pain and suffering you endured as a result of an accident, you will need to demonstrate to the insurer or the court how the accident has affected you physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Even though quantifying pain and suffering can be challenging, you deserve to be compensated not just for your financial losses but for your non-financial ones too. You can demonstrate non-economic losses by doing the following:

  • Keep all medical records, including records on mental health counseling.
  • Keep a pain journal throughout the recovery period where you document, in detail, your level of physical pain and discomfort each day, treatments you may be receiving, and more. This pain journal can be beneficial during the claim process.
  • Document and include testimony from third parties such as your physician, mental health counselor, and others who may be able to provide an objective outlook on the pain and suffering you have endured.
  • Include a list of the medications you have taken or are taking, including medicines prescribed for mental health purposes such as SSRIs.
  • Provide records detailing any permanent disabilities
  • Include testimony from people who know you, such as family and friends. Although this group is less objective than, say, your doctor, they are the ones who know you best. Friends and family members can provide powerful testimony detailing how the accident and your injuries have impacted your life.

Documentation, statements, and testimony from your loved ones, medical personnel who have treated you, and mental health professionals who have evaluated you can all work together to garner sympathy and understanding from the court for all of the pain and suffering you’ve been through, thereby increasing your odds of being compensated for your non-economic losses after a motor vehicle collision.

Ask a Lawyer about Non-Economic Damages in Car Accident Cases

If you were injured in an auto accident where you also endured pain and suffering, you could be entitled to claim compensation for non-financial damages related to the crash.

At Mann Law, our lawyers have nearly two decades of experience helping injured individuals recover their non-economic damages in Maine car accident cases. Get in touch with our firm to learn more.