Non-Economic Damages

Non-Economic Damages Damages in Kentucky personal injury cases usually fall under two different categories: “economic” damages and “non-economic” damages. Economic damages are the type that can be described in numbers on a sheet of paper. Medical bills, lost wages, repair invoices for property damage, and other such losses fall within the category of economic damages.

Non-economic damages in Kentucky are more complex, and it takes a skilled personal injury lawyer to maximize a person’s claim for non-economic damages. An experienced personal injury attorney will advocate for all available non-economic damages and work to get full and fair compensation.

How Are Non-Economic Damages Defined?

How Are Non-Economic Damages Defined? 

Non-economic damages aren’t computed in purely monetary terms and instead refer to “pain and suffering” and other intangible results of an accident. Non-economic damages address the suffering an accident victim goes through due to physical impairment, mental anguish, and loss of the ability to live life as they did before the accident. The legal system allows victims to be compensated for their intangible losses in addition to the tangible costs connected to an accident.

What Are Common Types of Non-Economic Damages in Kentucky?

Kentucky residents can claim several types of non-economic losses in a personal injury lawsuit, such as:

  • Pain and suffering. Pain and suffering refers to the pain, discomfort, stress, inconvenience, and trauma due to an injury. In other words, it means the loss of enjoyment of life that a person suffers due to the harm caused by another person’s negligence.
  • Mental anguish. Victims of car accidents, slips and falls, truck accidents, medical malpractice, nursing home neglect, and other sources of harm often will suffer shock, humiliation, and anxiety that is severe and many times ongoing. Damages for mental anguish can be added to damages for pain and suffering under the category of non-economic damages in a Kentucky personal injury case.
  • Loss of enjoyment of life. If you are unable to enjoy activities you once did because of an accident, you could be entitled to non-economic damages for loss of enjoyment of life. Such activities not only include physical pursuits and hobbies but also reading, crafting, and other things we enjoy as part of our lives.
  • Permanent disfigurement or loss of function. Suffering permanent physical disfigurement can take an enormous toll on an accident victim and will impact them each day of their lives. The same is true of long-term damage to bodily function. Not being able to see ourselves the same way or have the physical abilities we once did can be devastating. Non-economic damages address these issues as part of a personal injury claim.

How are Non-Economic Damages Calculated in Kentucky?

Unlike economic damages, which can be tallied up based on documents and numbers, non-economic damages are trickier to calculate. Each case is unique, and the intangible losses a person suffers will differ from one claim to the next.

Key questions a court (or insurance company) might ask include:

  • Does the victim’s injury stop them from playing with their kids or enjoying their family?
  • Does the victim’s injury limit their ability to complete daily household tasks?
  • Did the victim’s injury cause them embarrassment or humiliation?
  • Does the victim’s injury keep them from playing sports or engaging in physical hobbies?
  • Did the defendant or at-fault individual act with recklessness or malice?

In most cases, if the damages to a victim are long-term, permanent, or life-altering, that person could be entitled to higher amounts of non-economic damages.

Is There a Limit on Damages in a Kentucky Personal Injury Case?

Some states set limits or “caps” on damages a plaintiff can collect in a personal injury case. Kentucky does not limit or cap damages, including non-economic damages, in personal injury claims. This means that a skilled personal injury lawyer will fully evaluate your claim and maximize the potential for non-economic damages if your case goes to court.

How Do I Know if I Qualify for Non-Economic Damages in a Personal Injury Case?

The only way to know is to consult with a personal injury lawyer and build your personal injury claim. Your attorney can’t guarantee what you will receive but can give you an estimate based on your injuries and their experience handling cases with non-economic damages.

Whether the other person can be held responsible for non-economic damages depends on four crucial elements of a personal injury case in Kentucky:

  • Whether the person had a duty of care to you;
  • Whether the person breached that duty;
  • Whether the person’s breach caused the injury in question;
  • Whether you’ve suffered damages as a result of all of the above.

In other words, there must be a cause-and-effect connection between the other person’s actions and your injuries. The more significant the connection and your injuries, the more likely you can claim and collect non-economic damages.

What is the Statute of Limitations to Claim Non-Economic Damages in Kentucky?

The statute of limitations for personal injury claims in Kentucky is one year from the injury or one year from when the plaintiff discovered or should have discovered the injury. This means that you can’t waste precious time if you’ve suffered an injury. Failing to file by the statute of limitations deadline can prevent you from collecting non-economic damages in a Kentucky personal injury claim.

A Personal Injury Lawyer Can Help You Pursue Non-Economic Damages

Non-economic damages in a personal injury claim can be significant, but obtaining them requires skill and careful analysis of your case. It is crucial to work with a personal injury lawyer who has the knowledge and experience to present your case in a way that maximizes the potential for non-economic damages.

If you’ve been injured and need legal assistance, don’t hesitate to call Hendy Johnson Vaughn Emery at (502) 540 5700 or contact us online today for a free case evaluation.

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