If you want to collect non-economic damages, it typically takes a little more to prove them in court.
To drive in Missouri, you are legally required to carry the mandatory minimum insurance. The required minimum is called “liability insurance.” Liability insurance is coverage that will take care of both the at-fault driver’s and the other party’s injuries but will only cover the other driver’s property damage or car repairs. If you are injured in a car accident, regardless of whether or not you were at fault, you are entitled to collect something called non-economic damages as well as economic damages.
How Non-Economic and Economic Damages Differ
Non-economic damages differ from economic damages in that they are subjective rather than objective. Issues that fall under the category of non-economic damages are things like emotional distress and pain and suffering. Economic damages are things like medical bills and lost time from work, which is highly objective and are based on a simple calculation. Non economic damages aren’t as concrete. If you want to collect non-economic damages, it takes a little more to prove them in court.
Since every person’s suffering is different, courts and juries sometimes have a hard time putting a price on someone’s pain or their emotional distress. There is no way to know how much someone is really suffering, which is why it can be difficult to assign a dollar amount to it. But if you want to collect, then you are going to have to prove that you suffered – either emotionally or physically – by providing documentation to support your claims.
How the Insurance Calculates It
Most insurance companies calculate non economic damages by using something called the “multiplier method.” They might also choose to use the “per diem” method. The multiplier method means that they determine the severity of an accident by using a specific multiplier from one to five, with five being the most severe imaginable. Then they use that number to multiply the number of economic damages you suffered.
The per diem method means that they ascribe an amount of daily suffering, similar to lost wages, then ascribe a dollar amount to your daily pain, and then they multiply that by however many days you were injured to calculate your non economic damages.
Evidence to Prove Your Non-Economic Damages
The best way to prove your non economic damages is going to be by keeping:
- documentation of all of your doctor visits
- lists of any treatment you had to endure
- a log of how long you were out of work
- documentation of any diagnoses or prognosis that you were given after the accident
It is also a good idea to keep a record or journal of your recovery and the pain that you suffered to further illustrate how much you endured and how it altered your life. You might also want to get the evaluation of a therapist if you are suffering from emotional distress like PTSD. The more evidence you have, the more likely it will be that you can prove your damages.
The Assistance of an Auto Accident Lawyer
To ensure that you get all that you are entitled to for your non economic damages in St. Louis, it is imperative that you hire a St. Louis car accident lawyer. They will be the best tool you have to get everything you deserve for all that you went through.
At The Hoffmann Law Firm, L.L.C., we have 25 years of experience with helping victims of car crashes receive all of their benefits. Call us today for a Free Consultation at (314) 361-4242 or fill out our online contact form.