What is the Difference Between Economic and Non-Economic Damages?

Stethoscope and money

Damages are often referred to as the financial awards of a personal injury claim that you may require after enduring injuries and other losses. If you are filing a claim after an accident that was of no fault of your own, you may be requesting a combination of both economic and non-economic damages. Read on to understand the differences between the two and how a seasoned Chesterfield County personal injury lawyer at The Cockrell Law Firm, P.C. can guide you through what evidence you need to collect for each.

Economic damages vs. non-economic damages. What is the difference?

Economic damages can be defined as the tangible losses you experienced or will experience in the future as a result of your accident. Common kinds are as follows:

  • Medical expenses: such bills include the costs for your initial treatment and any follow-up treatment required.
  • Lost wages: due to your injuries, you may be out of work for a few days or weeks and thus miss out on your paychecks. In more extreme circumstances, you may be unable to return to your profession for several months, years, or never again.
  • Property damage: this is commonly used in auto accident claims if your automobile becomes severely damaged. If this is your case, a knowledgeable Chesterfield County auto accident lawyer can assist you.

On the other hand, non-economic damages are defined as losses that do not come with tangible documentation. That is, these types of losses can be considered pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress, and disability, among others.

With that being said, the key distinction between the two is that claiming economic damages will get you back to your original financial condition, while non-economic damages will get you compensated for your suffering from the accident.

Regardless of the type of damage, if you require monetary compensation for your losses, do not hesitate in reaching out to our firm today.

What is the process for claiming damages for my personal injury case?

If your attorney is having difficulty negotiating a fair settlement with your insurance company, your best next step is to file a personal injury claim. Here, you will be required to outline the specific damages you are seeking to recover.

If you are diligent with saving relevant bills and other documentation, collecting proof for your economic damages claim will be relatively easy. Proof for your non-economic damages claim may be a bit more difficult, as such documentation does not exist. Historically, providing the jury with an explanation of the accident and its psychological after-effects from your perspective serves as sufficient evidence.


For competent and trustworthy legal counsel involving criminal law, personal injury law, divorce & separation, and family law, contact The Cockrell Law Firm, P.C. today to schedule your free initial consultation.