During the claiming process after getting injured in an accident, you need to calculate your claim worth. If you don’t understand Non-Pecuniary Damages vs. Pecuniary Damages, you may face serious difficulties. Don’t worry, we have you covered in that case. Read along, we will give you the most actionable guideline in this article below.
As a citizen of Canada, you deserve to have the proper compensation after an injury. But there should be some valid reason for asking for compensation from someone; for example, you got injured for someone’s negligence (you slipped on the wet lawn of your neighbor).
In simplest words, pecuniary damages are the damage that can be compensated properly by some set of units and numbers. For example, medical bills for injury or car repairment bills for car accidents, etc.
Non-pecuniary damages cannot be counted by numbers. For example, PTSD, mental pain and suffering, losing a loved one, a glitch in the legal contracts, etc. these losses cannot be counted but felt very acutely. It cannot be compensated by money, but the court tries to help as much as they can.
What Are Compensatory Damages?
Simply defined, compensatory damages make up for the losses and harms you have suffered.
Victims of accidents often have the right to file a personal injury claim to seek compensation for the financial, emotional, and physical harm they have suffered.
This might contain:
- Associated costs for healthcare,
- Lost privileges and income,
- Damage to property, as well as pain.
Additionally, an injured party could seek compensation for:
- Future loss of income and benefits
- Future medical expenses,
- Future loss in earning potential,
- Future loss in quality of life, and
- Future permanent damage and disfigurement.
Examples of compensating damages include those.
You can see that some of these compensatory damages are connected to financial losses (pecuniary losses), while others are related to non-financial losses (non-pecuniary losses).
Non-Pecuniary Damages vs. Pecuniary Damages
If you talk about compensation for personal injury, there will always be a discussion of pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages and their compensation. These two words are directly related to the term compensation. However, the lawyers and the insurance company try to figure out what type of damage the accident was and then agree on paying the compensation after settlement.
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What are the Pecuniary Damages?
The word pecuniary literally means “related to money.”
In a personal injury case, when we talk about pecuniary damages or losses, we’re referring to losses that have a financial value.
You might also hear the phrase “economic damages” used to refer to pecuniary damages.
List of Pecuniary Damages
Pecuniary damages are financial losses quite clearly. In dollars and cents, you can weigh them. Pecuniary losses include the financial losses not just of the wounded but also of their relatives.
By producing the receipt, an account, or a statement, you will typically show pecuniary losses. This is the most prevalent type of liability paid for damages in a personal injury law action, and it is easy to quantify.
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1. Medical Bills
This will cover all the treatment bills paid by you as a result of the crash. Ambulance care, medications, hospitalization, doctor’s fees, rehabilitation, and therapy bills. If everything goes well, your claim amount will contain all those expenses regarding the physical repair.
2. Future Care
The cost of chronic diagnosis and recovery will be part of the lawsuit if the condition is of such a significant nature that it results in damage or chronic disease. This expense applies to the treatment offered by friends or relatives who offer up their time and will have to avoid working and making an income.
For instance, you lost your ability to walk. Now you need a walker or wheelchair for the rest of your life. You may need to use additional therapy for further treatment, including medicines and other medical necessities.
3. Damage Cost
If you are in a car accident and your car was brutally damaged, then you need money to repair that. In compensation, they will pay the money required for damage control of your car.
4. Loss of Earnings and Earning Capacity
If you are sick, you will not be able to be present in the workplace. It will lead you to lose your wage for the missing days. The other party will give that money. Again, it can be multiplied according to the severity of the matter.
Sometimes you lose the capacity to earn. As an artist, you may lose your hand. As a creative thinker, you may lose your mental stability. During the calculating process, you or your lawyer should include all those expenses into your claim worth.
Read Also: Everything About Suing for Damages
What are Non-pecuniary Damages?
Non-economic damages, also known as non-pecuniary damages, are harms that do not have an economic component but still have an impact on a person’s way of life and enjoyment of life.
They cannot be mathematically quantified, unlike lost wages or medical expenses. Non-pecuniary damages are more subjective than pecuniary damages because the earlier are objective in nature.
List of Non-pecuniary Damages
For your help, we have listed some of the non-pecuniary damages with a little elaborated description. It cannot be seen and not easy to prove. So, the burden on proof is incredible. But compensation for this is pretty big in amount.
1. Lifelong Disability
A lifelong disability exists where the wounded person can no longer experience the same quality of life he had before the injury. For example, after the accident, the wounded person can no longer walk. His whole life will be struck on a wheelchair and by taking support from the family. This mental insecurity and helplessness cannot be measured by money.
2. Emotional Suffering
Suppose the injury has damaged the claimant’s mental health in such a manner that they suffer from depression, anxiety, or some other psychiatric disorder. In that case, it is said that the person has experienced emotional distress.
Now, they need to suffer alone for that mental prison. They may get help from family and friends, but the injured person has to suffer alone. By this, sometimes his closest friends get affected, and distance comes.
3. Pain and Suffering
Injuries and financial damages will happen as a result of the incident. After the incident, the claimant is impaired and now no longer has the same mental or physical capability since the crash.
As a result, he can no longer be available just before. If he was the only wage earner or a whole family depends on him/her for mental and financial support, then the situation worsened.
4. Relationship Problem
This is claimed to have happened because the injury has impaired the capacity of the complainant to interact socially or with relatives, friends, or their life partner in the same way. For example, in the crash, you have lost your mental stability. After that, you can be alone with your children because it will affect the children’s image.
5. Loss of Future Wages
If you do not work in the profession of your choosing as a result of the injury, this will therefore be liable to non-pecuniary damages. For example, you were a sewing master, and you lost your hand in the accident. Now, your occupation is in danger, and in the future, you will lose the earning.
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Non-pecuniary damages are more challenging to measure
Receipts or statements cannot support non-pecuniary damages. These damages can be calculated in a variety of ways. Therefore it’s not an exact science.
Before submitting a personal injury claim, it is advised to have a full discussion about your case with an experienced personal injury lawyer who is knowledgeable about this matter.
When deciding whether to grant non-pecuniary damages, the courts typically take the following into consideration:
- The severity of the injury – in general, the higher the compensation will be awarded, the worse the injury (and the longer its duration).
- The defendant’s age – awards are typically higher for younger defendants
- Higher amounts could be granted for either a death or a disability – whether it results in temporary or permanent harm.
In cases involving non-pecuniary damages, the judge or jury may need to use a great deal of discretion in making their decision.
Each personal injury case is different and evaluated on its own facts. However, previous cases may be used as a guide to determine the amount of any judgment of damages.
This compensation money for non-pecuniary damage depends on the injured person’s situation, gender, age, severity, and impact on your life. To support your claim, the lawyer must show that to the jury.
We hope, now you have enough idea about pecuniary and non-pecuniary damages. Another thing is that sometimes the insurance company tends to give a small amount naming something a ‘minor injury.’ So, beware of that. If you think you cannot handle their tricks, always take suggestions from your legal advisor.