If you or somebody you care about has sustained an injury due to the negligent actions of another individual or entity in Montana, you will likely be able to recover compensation for your losses. However, securing compensation can be difficult, particularly when it comes to calculating how much you should receive. This process is best left to be handled by a skilled attorney and financial experts, but there are some basics that you should understand about recovering compensation for economic and non-economic losses.

Calculating Economic Damages After an Injury

After an injury occurs, individuals will typically experience various types of losses. One of the main types of damages recoverable is referred to as economic damages, which you may also hear referred to as “special damages.”

These are the types of losses that are relatively calculable after an incident occurs. They are calculable because injury victims and their attorneys can gather up any type of bill or receipt that comes in that relates to the incident. For example, the most common types of economic damages include medical bills, lost income, out-of-pocket losses, transportation expenses, property damage expenses, rental cars, etc.

Calculating these damages is not terribly difficult because there will be actual dollar amounts on the bills, receipts, invoices, etc.

Calculating Non-Economic Damages After an Injury

Another type of loss that individuals will experience after an injury includes non-economic damages, sometimes referred to as “general damages.”

These damages are not as easy to calculate. Under this umbrella of losses includes the physical and emotional pain and suffering that individuals endure. This can include physical pain a person experiences as well as feelings of fear, stress, sleeplessness, anxiety, and more. This can also include post-traumatic stress disorder that may develop after an incident.

These are more immeasurable because there aren’t bills or receipts that will necessarily place a dollar value on these losses. However, it is still important to quantify non-economic damages, and this will often be done by using a multiplier method. This means that an attorney will add up the economic damages that we mentioned above and then multiply that by a specific number. For example, if a person experiences $200,000 worth of economic damages, an attorney could use a multiplier of “three” to reach a total of $600,000.

Another method is called the per diem method, where an attorney will assign a specific dollar value to every day a person is going to experience pain and suffering. For example, if $200 is assigned to the daily pain and suffering, and a person is expected to experience pain and suffering for a year, this would be $200 multiplied by 365 days to equal $73,000 for pain and suffering damages.

Who Helps Determine the Totals

Aside from gathering the bills and receipts that come in, an attorney will often turn to medical, economic, and financial experts who can help to calculate overall bosses. These individuals may provide testimony to insurance carriers or a personal injury jury. It is critical to work with an attorney to help