What Are Emotional Damages?

January 10, 2019

If you’ve been injured due to the negligent or wrongful misconduct of another party in Pennsylvania, then you may have a cause of action against the defendant for damages.  These damages may not only compensate you for the financial losses and physical harm that you suffered due to your injuries, but also the emotional harm.

Economic and Non-Economic Damages

In Pennsylvania, compensatory damages in a personal injury case can be separated into two different categories: economic and non-economic damages.  Economic and non-economic damages are fundamentally different than one another, though they are both critical to securing a full and adequate recovery.

Economic Damages

Economic damages account for financial losses suffered due to the accident at issue.  These may include but are not necessarily limited, to:

  • Lost wages
  • Loss of future earning capacity
  • Medical expenses
  • Property loss
  • And more

Due to their more objective nature, economic damages tend to be rather straightforward to prove, though you’ll have to keep copious records to ensure that you have the evidence to support your claims.

Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages account for the physical and mental losses suffered by the plaintiff due to the accident.  These may include but are not necessarily limited, to:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Stress
  • Embarrassment
  • Humiliation
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • And more

Due to their more subjective nature, non-economic damages can be difficult to prove, as the defendant may assert that your claim is “outrageous” based on the circumstances.  Because they cannot experience what you are going through, they may not be capable of seeing just how much of an overwhelming impact — physically and mentally — the accident has had on your life.

Emotional Damages Strike at the Heart of Mental Suffering

Emotional damages is a catch-all term to describe the mental aspect of the non-economic damages category.  It, therefore, describes a host of problems beyond the physical pain suffered by the plaintiff: mental anguish, stress, humiliation, loss of pleasure, disfigurement, and distress.

When attempting to prove significant emotional damages, an effective injury attorney will work with well-reputed expert witnesses who can prove persuasive testimony regarding the harm that you have suffered.  For example, if you have been disfigured due to a burn injury, your attorney might bring in a psychotherapist to testify as to the humiliation and mental anguish typically suffered by those who have experienced burn injuries, and how their lives are affected.  By building a map of subjective experience, it is easier to pinpoint a location for your own experience.

Contact an Experienced Doylestown Accident Lawyer for a Free Consultation

Here at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC, our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured plaintiffs in a wide variety of disputes, from car accidents to slip-and-fall accidents to dog bite accidents.  We have litigated numerous cases involving hostile defendants and ambiguous emotional damages and have helped our clients obtain significant compensation for their losses.

Call 610-433-3910 or send us a message online to schedule a free and confidential consultation with an experienced Doylestown accident lawyer at Drake, Hileman & Davis, PC today.