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The Difference Between Pecuniary And Non-Pecuniary Compensatory Losses

When you file a personal injury claim, the amount of money you will be awarded will be determined by several factors. These factors are defined as either pecuniary or nonpecuniary and the total amount given for each will be determine by a judge or jury depending on your case. Once you’ve begun the legal process, it is important to understand these two different types of damages so you can get the money that you deserve.

Pecuniary Losses

Simply put, pecuniary losses are any losses that can be measured in financial terms. Pecuniary losses are easy to measure and therefore, are the more common type of financial compensation in a personal injury suit. Pecuniary losses count for both the losses to the victim and the losses to the victim’s family. Here are some examples of pecuniary losses:

Medical Bills: The cost of medical treatment is calculated into the lawsuit. Medical treatment includes everything from ambulance rides, surgery, medication, physical therapy, chiropractic care, and any other form of medical cost incurred from the injury.
Wage Replacement: Often times while recovering from injury, people are forced to miss work. Wage replacement includes both the work that has already been missed and the cost of future missed wages.

Loss Of Earning Capacity: Loss of earning capacity is when an injury has impeded the claimant’s ability to work their job or pursue their career path. For example if someone had a back injury, but their career requires them to stand all day, they are no longer able to pursue that particular career path and may have to settle for a lower paying job to accommodate their injury.
Future Care: In cases of disability or long term, chronic illness as a result of the injury, the claimant may require things like hospice care or years of physical therapy. Future care also includes the cost of care by family members who may have to sacrifice their time and earnings to provide care for their loved one.
Cost Of Physical Damage: In the case of a car accident, the cost of any physical damages will be calculated.

During your lawsuit, your lawyer will prove your pecuniary losses with bills, receipts, paycheck stubs, tax forms, and any other physical proof of the value of your pecuniary losses. So make sure that during your lawsuit you keep track of all of these things and get them to your lawyer so you can get the full amount you deserve from your injury.

Non-Pecuniary Compensatory Losses

Non-pecuniary damages are much more difficult to measure than pecuniary losses. These losses are the intangible and ancillary costs that accompany personal injury. These losses are more difficult to prove, so the burden of proof required is much higher. Here are some of the types of non-pecuniary compensatory losses:

Emotional Distress: Emotional distress is awarded when the injury is so severe that it causes things like depression, anxiety attacks, or any other emotional damage.
Impairment Of Life: Impairment of life means the quality of life the claimant enjoyed has been reduced as a result of the injury.
Impairment Of Relationships: Impairment of relationships is when the injury has had a negative impact on the familial, marital, or social relationships of the claimant.
Impairment of Mental/Physical Abilities: The injury has created a disability that has made the claimant lose their natural intellectual and physical abilities.

As these losses do not have receipts or bills, they have to be proven other ways. These are usually measure by the court based on the following factors:

● Age of the claimant
● Nature of the injury
● Severity of the injury
● Duration of the injury
● Any disability or loss of life

Understanding the difference between pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses will help you understand what types of compensation you deserve for your personal injury. Pecuniary damages are easy to prove and if you provide your lawyer with all the documentation of the material costs of your injury then you can ensure you get the full value of your damages. However, non-pecuniary losses are harder to prove but if you tell your lawyer everything that you’ve been experiencing as a result of your personal injury, they will know how to get you the compensation for these losses.