What Are Non-Economic Damages?

Non-economic damages can be the most significant component of the compensation that you are entitled to in a negligence lawsuit.

At Douglas and London, we have used our skills and experience to win more than $18 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients. A New York City personal injury lawyer from our firm can help you to recover the full amount of non-economic damages that you deserve.

What Are Some Examples of Non-Economic Damages?

An individual who receives medical treatment will have expenses that will be recorded on doctors’ and hospital bills. Those amounts represent the victim’s economic damages, which are objective and readily verifiable.

Non-economic damages are the victim’s losses that are more intangible and include matters such as:

  • the emotional and mental experience of dealing with pain.
  • the psychological damage caused by disabilities and disfigurement.
  • post-traumatic stress including depression and anxiety
  • losses associated with the inability to enjoy time with family and friends.
  • loss of consortium, which is the reduced ability of an accident victim to enjoy sexual union with a partner.

How Does a Personal Injury Lawyer Prove the Value of Non-Economic Damages?

Insurance companies are increasingly using computer algorithms to categorize an individual’s non-economic losses and injuries. Those algorithms inevitably disregard the unique circumstances of the victim’s family and lifestyle. A knowledgeable lawyer will use testimony from family members and other evidence to demonstrate in vivid detail how this accident has adversely affected their lives.

This can include, for example, showing how chronic pain prevents them from participating in day to day activities that were so enjoyable—like hiking, golf, or even a large family gathering. Rather than just winning the sympathies of a jury, the lawyer will use this evidence to establish a realistic dollar value for the victim’s non-economic losses.

Are Non-Economic Damages the Same as Punitive Damages?

Non-economic damages compensate an individual for genuine losses. In contrast, punitive damages punish the party who caused the accident. Especially if their actions were grossly negligent. Non-economic and punitive damages are, therefore, not the same. So, if a negligent party’s actions are perceived to have been egregious, a victim may be entitled to receive separate recoveries for non-economic losses and punitive damages. 

Does New York State Impose a Cap on the Amount of Non-Economic Damages that an Accident Victim Can Recover?

Unlike some other states, New York does not have caps or limits on the amount of non-economic damages. Therefore, your lawyer will play a significant role in the success of your case– by presenting the most precise picture of how the accident has adversely changed your life.

Contact us at Douglas and London today

If you have suffered severe injuries in any kind of accident– caused by someone else’s negligence, you should not have to bear your pain and suffering without thorough and adequate compensation.

Please see our website or contact us directly to consult with a personal injury lawyer about the circumstances of your case. We can discuss your opportunity to recover the largest available award for economic and non-economic damages.

We represent victims of car accidents, slip-and-falls, and other kinds of negligence in Manhattan, the Bronx, Long Island, Brooklyn, Queens, and anywhere else in New York. We promise that we will use the full measure of our legal skills, knowledge, and experience to fight for the recovery of the damages that you deserve.


  1. www.centerjd.org: Fact Sheet: Caps on Compensatory Damages: A State Law Summary. https://centerjd.org/content/fact-sheet-caps-compensatory-damages-state-law-summary
  2. www.centerjd.org: Fact Sheet: Understanding  Non-Economic Damages. https://centerjd.org/content/fact-sheet-understanding-non-economic-damages