When dealing with non economic loss, it’s important to arm yourself with the proper knowledge and insight first. Before diving in though, we must mention that non economic loss can be a touchy subject and is very different from basic economic loss.
Legally speaking, this is because non economic loss requires a different kind of analysis altogether, as well as proof which determines the monetary value of the loss. This can get tricky, as you’re about to see.
Have you been feeling confused about what non economic loss is? If so, continue reading as we dive deeper into the subject, and guide you through the surface level details first. Then, we’ll get more specific to help you become well-informed and comfortable with the subject.
Non Economic Loss Explained
Before we get into what non economic loss is, let’s first point out what it isn’t.
Non economic loss is not always easy to prove, because it’s harder to compile the facts and records that clearly reflect the numbers to back up these types of cases.
For example, with non economic loss, it’s usually difficult to simply gather the amount of medical bills, lost earnings, or property damages. This is why we mentioned earlier that non economic loss is subjective, because there usually isn’t specific records or documents to help back up your argument.
A clear example of this is emotional distress. When claiming emotional distress, it can be harder to put clear facts and figures together – mainly because it falls into the category of “general” loss or personal injury.
Of course, these cases vary from person to person.
To help you understand this subject, here are some common examples of non economic loss you may be facing:
- Pain and suffering
- Losses related to your reputation
- Mental anguish
- Physical pain
- Anxiety / Fear
- Loss of life expectancy
While this helps to paint a clearer picture of what economic loss is and isn’t, please note that this is not an exhaustive list.
So if you are still unsure whether or not you have a case of non economic loss on your hands, carefully consider if you have suffered a type of serious injury which led to permanent damage (previously this was labeled as “Pain and Suffering”). If so, then you may be eligible for an award regarding non economic loss (legally speaking.)
A Deeper Look Into Non Economic Loss
We mentioned earlier that non economic loss can be a tricky subject. This is because non economic loss cases vary widely from person to person, and are not clear-cut or “specific.”
If you think you have been through – or are going through – some form of non economic loss, please remember that awards will not be issued for non economic losses that are deemed “imaginary,” or invented by the plaintiff. Looking at this from a legal perspective, your non economic loss must be deemed as reasonable.
If this all sounds a little confusing to you, don’t worry yet because you’re not alone. Many victims of non economic loss may have a truthful story to tell – however, the facts are that in the end, the actual monetary loss can be difficult for juries to calculate.
That’s why it’s important to arm yourself with the right knowledge so that you can gain a better chance at understanding – and potentially winning – your case.
How It Relates To The Court Of Law
First and foremost, please understand that juries tend to look at non economic loss trials with a critical eye. So it’s important to keep in mind that they will likely be skeptical of your claims, especially if they think you are blowing things out of proportion.
To help back up your case, make sure to go beyond just the stories and the emotional reasoning. Use logic to help back up your claims as well, as this will help strengthen your case from a legal point of view.
To do this, you should gather as much helpful information as you can, that way you can strongly prove the effect that the issue has had in your life.
The biggest way to help strengthen your claim is to provide factual evidence. Medical evidence is a good way to establish this, as well as before and after pictures – if you’re dealing with a disability claim.
In your attempt to get juries to see things from your point of view, there are some key pieces of evidence you should gather and present. Some are listed below, which could all potentially help strengthen your case:
- A testimony or a written statement from mental health professionals
- A documented sleep schedule portraying how your injury has disrupted your sleep patterns
- Written documentation showing the location and severity you are (or were) going through on a daily basis
- Proof of prescription painkillers showing your physical pain
- Testimonies from friends or family explaining how your injury has damaged your life
- A testimony coming straight from you, carefully explaining how your injury has had a negative impact on your life
Non Economic Loss In Trial
When all is said and done, a non economic loss can involve complex analysis during a trial.
That’s because it takes more than just your word to prove non economic loss to a jury. In this case, it’s not a good idea to base your arguments from an emotional point of view or to tell stories that are lacking in merit.
The best route to take when preparing is to think through how you can properly illustrate your suffering at trial. The reason being is that juries might struggle to place a monetary value on non economic losses when it feels like they are dealing with abstract concepts.
On top of that, the jurors aren’t provided with guidance when it comes to determining or calculating the amount of money the plaintiff should justifiably be paid. To make things worse, defense attorneys will usually present an array of defensive tactics to try and disqualify the merit and strength of your claim. This leads to more ambiguity, confusion, and abstract concepts for the jurors to try and deal with.
Attorneys are always an option here, as they can help you avoid headaches and give you a higher chance of succeeding in your case.
We’ve found that clients are often hesitant when it comes to telling their story regarding their non economic loss case. That’s because they fear that the jury will see them in a negative light, or even look at them as a “whiner.” In fact, these fears even cause some of the most severely injured clients to become timid and hold back, instead of openly sharing how badly they have been impacted and burdened by their injuries.
So one-way attorneys will take a stand for you is to tell your story for you. This takes a lot of weight off of your shoulders and also relieves you of the pressure and fears of having to tell your own story in a court of law.
Aside from taking some pressure away from you, attorneys can also help by looking at your story and your suffering from a “neutral” point of view. It’s common for many non economic loss sufferers to be tied very closely to their own story, and this can get in the way of presenting things in a more rational and “persuasive” way.
For this to happen, you’ll need to be willing to open up to your attorney. This means honestly sharing your injuries, your hindrances, and the whole impact that everything has had on your life.
Obviously, you may feel uncomfortable doing this. That’s expected. After all, truly diving in and reflecting on the impact your injuries had on your life can feel very vulnerable… perhaps emotional and frightening.
To help you gain more courage, it helps to take a step back and look at things from a logical point of view. This means painting a realistic and detailed picture of your suffering, laying out the facts, and being willing to help your attorney understand how to best portray it.
The reason behind this is simple. In order for your attorney to present your case in the best way possible, you’ll need to be open and let everything be known. Do not hold back. Remember that you are not being judged or evaluated, the attorney’s job is simply gathering data to use for the future. After this information is gathered, the attorney will put all the puzzle pieces together.
By the time your trial date has neared, your attorney will be able to illustrate your injuries and your suffering in the best way possible.
Just remember that your attorney is on your side. In the end, the goal is for him (or her) to ensure you receive a fair amount.
Non economic loss can be an abstract and complex issue.
To best prepare yourself to face a case of non economic loss, you need to arm yourself with the proper understanding of what non economic loss really is. We’ve already outlined the raw information you’ll need to gain a thorough understanding.
Also, it may be wise to consider having a lawyer take the pressure of your shoulders. This can save you time, emotional heartache, confusion, and overwhelm. In the end, just remember that your attorney is on your side.