It is important to be able to estimate the value of your case. Tort reform notwithstanding, most jurisdictions still permit recovery for traditional elements of economic and non-economic loss. Even jurisdictions that have restricted damages have usually done so by placing limits on the amount that can be recovered for a specific element of damages (i.e., pain and suffering), not by eliminating these elements entirely. At the same time, certain jurisdictions have enlarged the traditional areas of recovery by recognizing categories of damages, such as “loss of enjoyment of life,” in addition to the traditional categories.
The following chart itemizes damages:
|Category of Recovery||Typical Elements||Evidence and Documentary Support|
|Medical Expenses||ambulance, emergency medical treatment, physicians’ bills, diagnostic testing, hospital and health care provider bills, home health care, medical devices, prescription drugs and prosthetics||medical reports, records, invoices, receipts and statements|
|Lost Earnings/Lost Earning Capacity||time off from work, reduced income during recovery, reduced or diminished perquisites, reduced health benefits, impact on existing occupation, lost or diminished work expectancy||tax returns, W-2 and W-4 statements, 1099s, work and payroll records, company benefit, pension and health plans|
|Other Economic Loss||child/elder care, transportation expenses, property damage, vehicle towing, storage and rental charges, lodging expenses, disability and handicapped accommodation expenses, (e.g., major home remodeling projects to accommodate wheelchairs, etc.)||receipts, invoices, contracts, repair bills, credit card statements|
|Non-Economic Loss||pain and suffering, scarring, loss of consortium, companionship, reduced life expectancy, loss of enjoyment of life||personal injury diaries, electronic diaries, functional status tests, photographs, videotapes, day-in-the-life films and testimony|