How Accident Damages are Determined

How Accident Damages are Determined

admin May 15, 2020

One aspect of an accident-inspired lawsuit is determining damages. They depend on many different things. The following is an explanation of how your Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney will come up with your damages assessment.

In any personal injury lawsuit, there is the possibility of an award for three types of damages:

Economic Loss

These cover expenses or lost revenue that were the direct result of your injury. Your medical bills and any lost wages are examples of this type of loss. Additionally, future potential wages factor in, especially if you have a long-term disability. Economic loss injuries are the most common and easiest to ascertain.

For example, if you are in an accident and miss time at work because of broken bones, the economic cost and associated damages would be your defined lost wages and the cost of addressing your broken bones.

Non-Economic Loss

This type of loss covers losses incurred for non-tangible reasons. Most often, they are damages awarded for mental health and wellbeing reasons. These can include, but are not limited to:

  • Disability or disfigurement and remediation costs
  • Loss of companionship
  • Loss of reputation
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Maiming, physical impairment or disfigurement

Because they are not tangible, these types of losses often rely on experts to assess. An example of a non-economic loss would be when the negligence of another causes a disability and the cost of that disability can be ascertained.

They are also harder to win, unless the loss is very clear.


Punitive means to inflict a punishment and in the realm of damages, they are financial awards given to the plaintiff to offset particularly egregious actions. Punitive damages are not commonplace and are only awarded in exceptional circumstances.

In most punitive damages awards, the defendant acted in a particularly malicious, fraudulent or reckless manner and inflicted significant damage to the plaintiff. They are awarded separately from the other two forms of awards and in most cases, are only awarded when the defendant is capable of paying.

An example of punitive damages would be if your accident was caused by someone who was driving under the influence or it could be proven had been texting immediately before an accident and your loss of property or injuries were significant. Not only can those actions make your case eligible for punitive damages, but also the other party might be charged with a crime (or crimes.)

Your Kansas City motorcycle accident attorney can help determine what damages apply to your case.  Understanding how damages work will let you help you formulate a court and negotiations strategy with your attorney.

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