After a serious injury accident that is someone else’s fault, you may have a reasonable expectation that the at-fault person – or his or her insurance company – must reimburse you for your medical costs and lost wages. You may have lost much more than these easily calculated financial amounts, though.
Indiana law allows people to claim noneconomic damages, as well.
Pain and suffering
Recovery from the injury may be your goal, but the physical pain of the injury may be what keeps you from enjoying life. Pain can change someone’s personality. It can cause mental anguish and emotional distress. The law refers to pain and suffering as noneconomic damage, meaning that even though you cannot add up the total from a list of bills and missing pay stubs, there should be some amount of financial compensation.
You have likely suffered some types of loss due to your injury, as well. Perhaps you spent your spare time running marathons, playing a musical instrument or gardening. Now, your injury prevents you from your favorite pastime. This loss of enjoyment can cause significantly lower quality of life.
Other forms of loss the law names as noneconomic damages are loss of companionship, services and consortium. These claims are more common in a wrongful death case, as they refer to the benefits of having someone in your life. Love, companionship, marital relations and the sharing of duties are all frequently lost after a catastrophic injury.
If you must take your case to civil court, you may show evidence of what you have lost through pictures and videos. Other proof may include medical expert testimony. It will be the judge or jury’s duty to determine how much your loss is worth.