After an accident, calculating the losses can be a complex process, and it may be a mistake to assume the insurance company has offered a settlement amount that is full and fair. The economic damages involve current and future medical expenses, which can become complicated to figure, as can lost earning potential if a person must permanently leave a promising career.
Noneconomic damages may be even harder to figure, but they are an essential part of a fair offer. If the compensation does not cover them, the victim may need to take the case to court.
Pain and suffering
Figuring pain and suffering involves calculating the physical and mental anguish that the accident caused, according to FindLaw. It may include factors such as scarring and permanent disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental conditions that reduce the quality of life.
Loss of enjoyment of life
A serious injury may make it impossible to do the things that a person enjoys. People who regularly run marathons, play a musical instrument in a band or garden may find that their favorite activities are no longer an option. This can also result in the loss of social activities if the hobby or activity includes a group of friends or partner.
Loss of companionship, services and consortium
The spouse of the injured party may also claim damages in some cases. The physical and mental harm the victim suffers may lead to major changes in the relationship. The inability of the victim to provide support, participate in the running of the household or even perform self-care may turn the spouse into a caregiver with many duties, but without the emotional and physical elements the relationship used to include.
Because there are so many ways that an accident can affect people’s lives, factoring in every type of damages is an important part of preparing to negotiate a settlement.