Filing a Personal Injury Civil Claim: Economic and Non-Economic Damages

Have you been involved in a motor vehicle accident or traffic collision? If so, do you know that you can file a personal injury lawsuit against the driver who caused the accident? On the other hand, if you caused the accident, you will have to defend yourself against third-party claims filed against you by other drivers and passengers caught in the accident.

However, for this discussion, we shall assume that you did not cause the accident, are seriously injured, need a stay in the hospital, and a step-down facility with daily physical therapy treatments until you are strong enough to return home. Consequently, it is safe to assume that it will take at least six months to one year before you can return to work.

Statistics: The cost of road accidents to the US people and econom

Before we look at the practical aspects of filing a personal injury claim, let’s consider several statistics as a way of highlighting the cost of road accidents both to the individual and the American economy.

US motor vehicle accident statistics show that over 37 000 people die in road accident-related incidents every year. And, over 2.35 million people are injured, some severely, in the same period. And, motor car accidents cost the American economy circa $230.6 billion per annum. This translates into a figure of an average of $820 per person. Finally, road crashes are the single most significant cause of death of US citizens traveling out of the country.

Filing a personal injury lawsuit: claiming for economic and non-economic damages

At the outset of this discussion, it is essential to be cognizant of the fact that it is preferable to engage an injury lawyer in Winchester than to attempt to submit the documentation in the civil court yourself.


There are several reasons for this statement; however, the raison d’etre for this argument is that filing a lawsuit in the civil court is not a simple matter. There are factors to consider, such as applying for economic as well as non-economic damages.

What are economic and non-economic damages? And, how do they apply to your case?

By way of answering these questions, let’s consider the following discussion:

Economic damages defines economic damages as actual financial losses that are easily “quantified, and their value does not change depending on the jury that is evaluating them.” A typical example of economic damages is the total cost of the medical bills that you incurred as a direct consequence of the road accident. Another quantifiable cost is the loss of income due to the inability to hold down a job while recuperating after the accident.

Economic losses can also include future expenses that are about to be incurred as a direct consequence of the motor vehicle accident.

Non-economic damages

On the other hand, non-economic damages are slightly more challenging to quantify. And, they can include “pain, emotional anguish, humiliation, reputational damage, loss of enjoyment of activities, or worsening of prior injuries.”

It is interesting to note that an appellate court will often look at the total medical expenses bill to determine whether the overall award for non-economic damages incurred is reasonable or not.