As the weeks and months pass after a serious car accident, the cost of your injuries becomes clear. Operations, medication, physical therapy and other necessary treatments can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Being too hurt or disabled to work can mean a huge drop in household income. If you are disabled long-term or permanently, you might have to install accommodations in your home, such as a wheelchair ramp.
Then there are the effects that don’t have an obvious price tag attached but are just as real: chronic pain, lost hobbies, dependence on family or professionals to do everyday tasks, reduced enjoyment of life. These are the sorts of damages caused by someone else’s negligence for which you can seek compensation in a North Dakota courtroom.
Two types of damages
Most personal injury damages get sorted into two types: economic damages and noneconomic damages. Things like lost past and future wages, the cost of medical treatment, wheelchair ramps and home health care — which usually have an exact price tag attached — are economic damages. In North Dakota, juries are asked to consider past economic damages and future economic damages, like expected lost future wages, separately.
Noneconomic damages typically are more esoteric, like pain, suffering and reduced quality of life. They are also compensable in North Dakota, though if you wish to claim more than $500,000 worth, you cannot specify how much noneconomic harm you have suffered past the $500,000 level. And if your case involves medical malpractice, state law caps noneconomic damages at $500,000.
No two cases are alike
Every personal injury case is different. The amount of compensation you can expect depends on the type and severity of your injuries, whether the defendant is insured, and several other factors. Your attorney will review your case to help you know what to expect.