What Are Non-economic Damages?

If you suffer an injury in Utah due to someone else’s negligence, your journey to recovery involves more than just healing physically. It also encompasses navigating the complexities of legal and financial restitution. While many people are aware of economic damages, which compensate for quantifiable losses such as medical expenses and lost income, the role of non-economic damages is equally critical in securing a well-rounded economic damages within the context of Utah law, detailing what they entail and their vital importance in personal injury claims.

What are Non-economic Damages?

Non-economic damages or, as they are sometimes referred to as, “general damages, are compensations for losses that are more difficult to quantify in monetary terms. Unlike economic damages, which are objective and verifiable through receipts and records, non-economic damages are subjective, and they can include:

  • Pain and Suffering: This is compensation for the physical discomfort, pain, and emotional distress that was caused by the injury. The effects of an accident can be long lasting, and pain and suffering encompasses the distress these injuries may cause from now into the future.
  • Emotional Distress: This is separate from pain and suffering, and covers the psychological impact of your accident. Your accident may leave you with long lasting anxiety, depression, or even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Emotional distress covers these damages and ensures that you receive compensation for the emotional turmoil you may have felt.
  • Loss of Enjoyment of Life: If your injury prevents you from enjoying your hobbies, daily activities, or removes the joy you felt from spending time with others, you may be able to be compensated for this loss.
  • Loss of Consortium: This is compensation that you may receive if your relationship with your spouse is affected by your injuries.
  • Disfigurement or Scarring: If your injury lead to permanent physical changes affecting your appearance or capabilities you may be able to claim this under non-economic damages.
  • Reputation Damage: This only applies in specific cases where the incident that occurred or the injury has negatively impacted your reputation.

Utah’s Laws and Codes on Non-economic Damages

Utah law recognizes the importance of non-economic damages in personal injury cases. However, it is essential to understand the legal framework governing these damages:

Cap On Damages

Under Utah Code Section 78B-3-410 there are imposed caps on non-economic damages in certain cases, particularly in medical malpractice lawsuits. This cap amount is periodically adjusted for inflation, but at the time of writing Non-economic damages can not exceed the cap of $450,000.

Comparative Negligence Rule

Utah operates under a modified comparative negligence rule. Under Utah Code Section 78B-5-818 if you are found to be partially at fault for the injuries you sustained, your compensation, including non-economic damages, may be reduced to the degree in which you are found at fault.

Time Limits

In Utah the statute of limitations to file a personal injury claim is four years. This means if you fail to file your case within this time period you forfeit your right to have your case tried in front of a jury. You also would lose the right to claim for any of the damages you may have incurred.

The Importance of Non-economic Damages

Non-economic damages are crucial for personal injury cases as they can place value on the intangible. Non-economic damages allow for restitution that may not be considered otherwise, including holistic compensation Holistic compensation acknowledges that not all losses can be measured in dollars and cents. These damages also take into account the broader impact that an accident can have on someones life, such as the psychological and emotional distress that accompanies these injuries. However, most importantly, awarding non-economic damages acts as a deterrent against negligence. Thus promoting safer practices by holding parties accountable for the full spectrum of harm that they cause, beyond just financial losses.

Contacting a Lawyer

Understand and effectively claiming non-economic damages is crucial for a comprehensive personal injury claim. These damages recognize the full spectrum of harm suffered due to another’s negligence, extending beyond the financial to the deeply personal aspects of pain, suffering, and life enjoyment. These claims can often be difficult to manage which is why it is important to contact the best car accident lawyers in Salt Lake City. At LifeLaw Personal Injury our mission is to make sure you get the compensation you deserve from your personal injury claim. Our team of personal injury lawyers will take control of your case so you can focus on what is important, your recovery. If you or someone you know has been injured contact LifeLaw Personal Injury today,