What Are Economic Damages?

You might sustain an injury in an accident or because of another act of negligence or intentional torts. Injured victims incur a variety of damages, including economic and non-economic damages. The types of damages awarded in an injury case depend on the facts of the case.

However, most individuals are entitled to receive compensation for their monetary losses. These damages are known as economic damages or special damages. They do not include your pain and suffering or punitive damages

Compensatory damages are available in all types of personal injury cases, including motor vehicle accidents, medical malpractice, product liability, and premises liability claims. 

Examples of Economic Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases

Examples of Economic Damages in Florida Personal Injury Cases

Florida Statute §768.81 defines economic damages as any economic loss that would not have occurred had it not been for the injury giving rise to the civil action.

Examples of economic damages in a personal injury case include:

Cost of Medical Care

You can recover compensation for your medical bills and expenses related to the diagnosis and treatment of injuries caused by the at-fault party. Examples of financial losses related to medical care include:

  • Bills from family doctors, surgeons, specialists, and other medical providers
  • Surgeries, hospital stays, emergency room visits, and ambulance costs
  • Costs of rehabilitative therapy and other therapies
  • Expenses for medical equipment, medications, and medical supplies
  • In-home nursing care and long-term nursing care
  • Cost of diagnostic tests and labs
  • Future cost of medical treatment for permanent disabilities and impairments

Seeking immediate medical treatment after an injury or accident can reduce the chance the insurance might allege failure to mitigate damages. Prompt medical care also helps establish that the accident caused your injuries. 

Loss of Income

You are entitled to compensation for lost income if you cannot work because of your injuries. Examples of loss of earnings in a personal injury case include:

  • Salaries 
  • Retirement matches
  • Hourly wages
  • Overtime compensation
  • Accrual of PTO and sick time
  • Commissions and bonuses
  • Income from self-employment
  • Paid vacation time

You might also be entitled to compensation for future lost wages if you cannot work because your injuries result in a disabling condition or permanent impairment. Future loss of income may also include claims for diminished earning capacity. 

Out-of-Pocket Expenses

You could incur out-of-pocket expenses after a personal injury. You can include these amounts in your injury claim. However, the insurance company might argue whether some expenses were necessary and reasonable. 

Examples of out-of-pocket expenses include:

  • Cost of personal care 
  • Paying someone to help with household chores or childcare
  • Travel expenses to and from medical appointments
  • Over-the-counter medications and supplies
  • Modifications to your car and home because you sustained a disability or impairment

Keep track of all the expenses you incur after an accident or injury. Out-of-pocket costs are often overlooked. However, they can total hundreds or thousands of dollars. 

Property Damages

Property damages compensate you for the loss or damage of personal property. The at-fault party can be liable for the cost of repairing or replacing personal property damaged in an accident. 

What Is the Value of My Economic Losses in an Injury Case?

The value of economic damages is the actual monetary cost of your losses. Evidence of economic damages can include copies of bills, invoices, statements, and receipts. You may also need a statement from your doctor describing why your injuries required you to incur a specific expense.

In cases involving permanent impairments and future damages, your personal injury lawyer may hire financial experts, medical experts, and other expert witnesses to provide opinions and evidence proving future damages. Careful documentation of economic losses maximizes the value of your claim

Does Florida Cap Economic Damages for Personal Injuries?

Some states impose caps on damages in a personal injury case. Florida does not cap the amount of economic damages you can receive for a personal injury claim. Therefore, you can receive compensation for all economic losses that you can prove.

However, Florida’s contributory fault law could reduce the amount of money you can receive for damages. If you are partially to blame for the cause of your injury, your compensation for damages can be reduced by your percentage of fault.

For example, if you are 40% at fault for a car accident, your compensation for damages can be reduced by 40%. Insurance companies use contributory fault to undervalue claims, especially when an injured party does not have legal representation. 

What Is the Deadline for Filing Claims for Economic Losses for Personal Injuries?

Florida’s statute of limitations provides the deadlines for filing personal injury lawsuits. The deadline for filing claims and lawsuits varies depending on the type of personal injury, the parties involved in the case, and other factors.

Most injury cases involving negligence have a two-year statute of limitations. Claims involving government entities could require a notice of claim within months after an injury to protect your right to sue the government. 

There are exceptions to the statute of limitations that can extend or shorten the time to file a personal injury lawsuit. After an accident or injury, the best way to protect your right to fair compensation is to seek legal advice from an experienced personal injury lawyer in Stuart.

Schedule a Free Consultation With Our Personal Injury Lawyers

You deserve compensation for all the damages caused by a reckless or negligent party. Our personal injury attorneys fight to get you the maximum amount available for your personal injury claim. Contact our law firm today to schedule your free case review with an injury lawyer.