If you get hurt by someone else's negligence in the Baltimore area, personal injury law entitles you to recover compensation for all of the ways that you have suffered at their hands. This entitlement goes far beyond just your medical bills – it also includes compensation for the physical pain that you have been put through, the loss of life's enjoyments that you suffer, and even the loss of consortium that your family has felt from your absence while you recover.
The personal injury lawyers in the Baltimore law office of Gilman & Bedigian can help you recover all of the compensation that you deserve from the person or the people who hurt you.
Non-Economic Damages in Baltimore
The recoverable damages from a successful personal injury lawsuit in Baltimore fall into two categories: Economic damages and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are the losses that you have suffered that are easily distillable into a dollar amount. In most cases, economic damages are reflected on bills that you have received and have had to pay during your recovery. These include things like your:
- Medical expenses
- Future medical care costs
- Property damage
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, are the losses that you have suffered that are not easy to state in a dollar amount. Most of these are mental or emotional traumas and difficulties that you have experienced as a result of the accident and your injuries and include your:
- Physical pain
- Emotional distress
- Mental anguish
- Inability to fully enjoy life
- Loss of consortium felt by your family
Problems With Ascertaining Non-Economic Damages
Just because these non-economic damages are so tricky to ascertain in financial terms does not mean that you did not suffer them. You still deserve compensation. The personal injury law in Baltimore recognizes this and solves the thorny problem of deciding how much you are owed by simply putting the question to the jury to figure out after trial.
Unfortunately, this can lead to a huge variety of results in similar cases, simply because the jury was feeling stingy in one case and generous in the other. Because of the wide range of verdicts for non-economic damages, the Maryland legislature has enacted damage caps that can limit the amount of compensation you receive in some situations – regardless of how much you deserve.
Compensation for the Pain You Have Suffered
One of the most important pieces of the non-economic damage puzzle is the physical pain you have suffered. You would not have gone through all of that trauma, were it not for the other person's negligence, so there is no reason why you should not receive compensation for the pain you have felt.
Determining how much compensation you deserve, though, is not easy. How does the jury put a dollar amount on the pain of a broken finger or a broken femur? Obviously, the broken femur deserves more compensation because it is far more painful. However, that does not answer how much compensation you should receive.
To make matters worse, there are plenty of different kinds of pain, and different conditions can be painful for longer or shorter durations. While a broken femur deserves more compensation than a broken finger, what about an incredibly painful burn injury that is fully healed in six months and a whiplash injury that leads to a moderate case of chronic pain for the rest of the victim's life?
These are questions that the jury will decide, should your personal injury case go to trial. The advocacy of the attorneys at Gilman & Bedigian can make a huge difference in the outcome.
Compensation for Your Suffering, or the Loss of Life's Enjoyments
Another crucial piece of the puzzle is your suffering, known in Baltimore and the rest of Maryland as your loss of life's enjoyments.
Many of the injuries that you suffer in an accident lead to at least a minimal amount of debilitation. While you recover, you are likely to miss out on important life events. If the injury is severe and disabling, you may be forced to change your life's goals and might never be able to experience the things that made you happy, before the incident that got you hurt. This new inability to enjoy what life has to offer is a very difficult loss to put a dollar amount on, but the law in Maryland puts the question to the jury to determine, as well.
Your Family's Loss of Consortium
Injuries do not just hurt the person who suffers them – the people closest to the victim are affected, as well. In some cases, a terrible injury alters their lives, as well. Because this would never have happened, were it not for the other person's poor conduct or negligence that caused the accident and injuries, compensation should be paid.
This compensation is for your family's loss of consortium and becomes a part of your personal injury claim because it came from the same underlying incident.
Non-Economic Damage Caps in Baltimore
Because personal injury verdicts that include claims heavy in non-economic damages have led to widely diverging results, Maryland has passed laws that cap the amount of compensation recoverable for non-economic damages in some cases. For example, there is a statute that caps non-economic damages recoverable in a medical malpractice claim to $800,000 in 2018.
While these laws were meant to inject some certainty into what could happen in a personal injury claim, they have had the unfortunate, but also terribly foreseeable, outcome where seriously hurt victims are unable to recover what they really deserve. Many are also the result of vigorous lobbying efforts by powerful industries, like the healthcare field, intent on limiting their liabilities for their mistakes and negligence.
Baltimore's Personal Injury Lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian
If you have been hurt in the Baltimore region, your non-economic damages can make up the bulk of your losses. The lawyers at Gilman & Bedigian can work to recover all of them. Contact us online to get started on your case.