Call today to schedule a free initial consultation

Phone :415.835.6777

What Are Economic Damages in a California Lawsuit?

Were you injured in an accident in the Bay Area?

If so, it is imperative that you are able to recover financial compensation that accounts for the complete value of your losses. In California personal injury lawsuits, there are two main categories of damages:

  • Economic damages
  • Non-economic damages

Economic damages are the losses to which a specific dollar figure can be readily ascertained and attached. Here, our Oakland personal injury lawyer explains the key things you should understand about recovering economic damages in a California lawsuit.

Economic Damages in California: Monetary Losses

Under California law (California Civil Code § 1431.2 (b)(1)), the term ‘economic damages’ is defined as “objectively verifiable monetary losses.” Economic damages form the basis of personal injury compensation in California. Some of the most common examples of economic damages include:

  • Property damages (vehicle repairs)
  • Medical bills
  • Long-term medical care
  • Lost wages
  • Diminished earning potential

Notably, economic damages include losses that have already been incurred—medical expenses, missed paychecks, etc—and anticipated future losses. You can recover for likely future losses (ongoing medical care) as part of your economic damages in a personal injury claim.

Your Economic Damages Must Be Thoroughly Documented

To put yourself in the best possible position to maximize your personal injury settlement or verdict, your damages must be properly documented. You will only be able to receive compensation for economic damages if you can prove the validity of those damages. Make sure that you carefully gather and organize all relevant documents, records, and other evidence. Among other things, this may include things like medical bills and wage and income records.

You May Also Be Entitled to Recover for Non-Economic Damages

Economic damages are an important part of personal injury compensation, sometimes even more important than economic damages. In California, non-economic damages are the more serious losses to your person, which are typically left up to a jury to decide with guidance from the lawyers and the court. Some notable non-economic damages in a California personal injury claim include:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Scarring or disfigurement
  • Long-term disability
  • Loss of life enjoyment

What is the Value of Non-Economic Damages?

In a California personal injury claim, economic damages are sometimes used as a basis to help calculate non-economic damages. However, there is no one calculation for non-economic damages. That’s why it’s important to have an experienced injury lawyer who also has an interest in getting to know you and what you’ve been through. It’s best to find a lawyer who has experience at trial and the time and ability to understand what your life is like now (after the injury) so that your situation can be presented to a jury or settlement officer for full and fair compensation. A good personal injury lawyer will know how to educate the jury about your emotional distress and how your life has changed (“on the inside”) because of an injury. Sometimes this is the most important and valuable part of the case, and sometimes it is also the most difficult.

Schedule a Free Consultation With a Bay Area Personal Injury Attorney

At Bracamontes & Vlasak, our California personal injury lawyers are aggressive and experienced advocates for victims and families. We can help you maximize your recovery from economic and non-economic damages. Contact us today to set up a no-cost, no-obligation consultation. Because there is a limited time to file a personal injury claim and secure financial compensation, do not delay in reaching out to Bracamontes & Vlasak.

With offices in Oakland and San Francisco, we provide personal injury representation throughout the Bay Area and California.