Economic and Non-Economic Damages In a Personal Injury Case

Oregon Personal Injury Law Questions and Answers

Q: What are economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury case?

Portland oregon attorney auto injury, personal injury compensationA: When it comes to a personal injury case, there are two basic forms of “damages” a client may recover: economic and non-economic damages. Some lawyers will refer to them as “general” or “special” damages, but the correct names are economic and non-economic damages. In rare circumstances, punitive damages are available as well.

So, what exactly are economic damages? Economic damages are the compensation you can receive in place of any money you may have lost due to an accident. This may include:

  • Money to repair your car
  • Medical bills
  • Lost wages
  • Money to pay for household services that you are no longer capable of performing
  • Money for future economic losses (like wages you might have earned)

Non-economic damages are more abstract, and are often referred to as “pain and suffering.” Non-economic damages may include:

  • Mental suffering
  • Pain
  • Humiliation
  • Emotional distress
  • Damage to one’s reputation
  • Worsening of previous injuries

Together, economic and non-economic damages make up the available avenues for compensation after a Portland accident, along with punitive damages which are rare.

An experienced Oregon personal injury attorney will know not to lump these two categories together, but will separate each aggravation appropriately. If you’ve just been in a collision and need to know more about the differences between these two types of damages, feel free to contact our office, or read more on the topic in our free book 7 Common Mistakes That Can Wreck Your Oregon Accident Case.