“Non-economic” loss, commonly referred to as “pain and suffering,” is often the most significant component of any personal injury award. This category of damages in a personal injury lawsuit does not cover the economic toll of an accident-related injury, such as lost wages and unreimbursed medical expenses. Rather, it compensates for the non-economic impact of one. While these awards are meant to compensate for the physical pain and mental anguish a victim experienced due to their injury, an award can vary widely based on the nature of the accident and the extent of the injuries.
What Does a Non-Economic Loss Award Cover?
Non-economic damages are those that are not tangible or easy to quantify. This category of damages is intended to compensate a victim for the impact an accident-related injury had on their daily life and livelihood.
A non-economic loss award can cover the following:
- Pain and suffering — A non-economic loss award can compensate you for the physical pain and emotional anguish you experienced in connection with the accident.
- Permanent disability or disfigurement — If your accident-related injuries caused you to suffer a permanent disability or disfigurement, you may be entitled to compensation.
- Emotional distress — You may be able to obtain compensation for the emotional trauma you experienced in connection with the accident.
- Loss of enjoyment of life — A serious injury can prevent you from participating in the activities you once enjoyed. You may be able to recover compensation for the loss of enjoyment of life you suffered due to the accident.
- Loss of consortium — If your injuries interfered with your marriage or personal relationships, you may be entitled to compensation.
Non-economic damages are available in all types of personal injury cases. However, they can only be obtained in car accident cases if the victim suffered what is defined by law as a “serious” injury. To satisfy the serious injury threshold, a victim must have sustained over $50,000 in economic loss or have a qualifying injury under Section 5102(d) of New York Insurance law.
How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated?
There is no statutory formula for calculating non-economic damages in New York — juries can award an amount that seems fair under the circumstances. However, one of two methods is usually applied to quantify pain and suffering. These include the multiplier method and the per diem method.
When the multiplier method is used, a multiplier between 1.5 and 5 is selected based on the severity and duration of the injuries. This number is then multiplied by the economic damages to calculate the total amount of non-economic damages. In contrast, the per diem method assigns a daily value to pain and suffering based on how severe the injuries are and the impact they had on the victim’s life. This number is then multiplied by the number of days the victim suffered from the injuries.
Contact an Experienced New York Personal Injury Attorney
If you’ve been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, a skilled personal injury attorney can assist you with obtaining the maximum compensation you deserve. The attorneys at the Dearie Law Firm, P.C. are committed to ensuring every client secures the monetary recovery they deserve for their injuries.
The Dearie Law Firm, P.C. has convenient office locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx, as well as mobile locations serving Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, the Bronx, Staten Island, Westchester County, Rockland County, Nassau County, and Suffolk County. Contact us today for a consultation.