New York City Accident Lawyer Explains Economic, Non-Economic and Punitive Damages

Written by
Abraham Jaros
Updated on Wednesday, Nov 22, 2023

Auto accidents kill more people younger than 25 years old than any other cause, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Victims often cannot return to work, and they face steep medical bills for surgery and rehabilitation. This is where an accident lawyer may be able to help.

If you were injured due to the negligence of another driver, then you may be entitled to compensation. Contact Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC to discuss your options. Until then, read on to learn the basics of economic, non-economic and punitive damages in New York:

  1. Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to the amount of money the injury costs you. Treating serious car accident injuries is expensive; furthermore, they often prevent people from returning to work. Economic damages include current and future medical expenses, as well as lost income. Current and Future Medical Expenses The type of injury you have and the severity of it will help determine how much medical care you will need in the future. Add your current bills into this calculation. Loss of Wages New York law allows accident victims to claim lost wages from at-fault drivers. You can also claim for any income that you will lose in the future, provided that your injuries prevent you from returning to work. When calculating these damages, include all workdays missed, vacation times, sick leave and your salary history. There is a complex formula involved in calculating a loss of earnings. Your attorney can help you claim a fair amount rather than settling for less than what you deserve.

  1. Non-Economic Damages

Unfortunately, no amount of money can undo the physical and mental trauma of a serious injury. However, non-economic damages can compensate victims for intangible losses. Examples of non-economic damages include pain and suffering, and loss of consortium. Pain and Suffering When quantifying emotional trauma, you need to allocate a specific figure to your pain and suffering. This usually involves multiplying economic damages between one and five. Loss of Consortium Serious injuries can be dire enough to affect entire families and their relationships with one another. For example, paralysis victims may not be able to take part in physical family activities. They will not be able to provide the same protection, guidance and companionship as they once did. Your spouse may even suffer sexually. If this is the case, then you may be eligible for loss of consortium damages.

  1. Punitive Damages

New York does not award punitive damages often. Their purpose is not necessarily to compensate victims but rather to punish the at-fault party. You may need to take your case to trial in order to win punitive damages. Your attorney will have to give the court a good enough reason to punish the defendant for his or her reckless behavior. If you have questions about a potential lawsuit, then contact a New York City personal-injury attorney from Jaroslawicz & Jaros, PLLC. To schedule a consultation, fill out our online questionnaire.

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At Jaroslawicz & Jaros, we have over 40 years of experience helping accident victims in New York recover compensation. The clients we represent benefit from the personal attention of our knowledgeable and experienced attorneys.

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You can reach partner Abraham Jaros directly, either call his cell 917-842-9544, or email him at Or call Jaroslawicz & Jaros at 212 227 2780 in New York, or toll free 800-269-2780, or submit an online questionnaire.