Pecuniary vs. Non-Pecuniary Losses: What’s the Difference?

  • May 19, 2020 | Read Time: 3 Minutes
Pecuniary vs. Non-Pecuniary Losses

If you are injured in an accident caused by another person, you have the right to pursue compensation for your losses—also known as damages.

After an accident, personal injury lawyers help their clients recover compensation for their harms and losses. That compensation can be for both pecuniary and non-pecuniary losses. 

Although these legal terms can be confusing, understanding them will help get you the settlement you deserve. Your Denver personal injury lawyer can answer your questions and further explain these and other terms.

What Are Compensatory Damages?

Simply put, compensatory damages compensate you for your harms and losses.

In a personal injury lawsuit, victims typically have the right to pursue compensation for their physical, emotional, and financial harms.

This could include:

  • Health care related expenses,
  • Lost income and benefits,
  • Property damage, and
  • Pain and suffering.

An injured person might also pursue damages for:

  • Future loss of earnings and benefits,
  • Future cost of medical treatment,
  • Diminished earning capacity,
  • Diminished quality of life, and
  • Permanent impairment and disfigurement.

These are examples of compensatory damages.  As you can see, some of these compensatory damages related to monetary (pecuniary) losses, others to non-monetary (non-pecuniary) losses. 

What Are Pecuniary Losses?

The literal definition of the word pecuniary is “relating to money.”

When we discuss pecuniary damages or losses in a personal injury case, we are talking about those damages that we can quantify in financial terms. Another term you may hear to describe pecuniary losses is “economic damages.”

Some common examples of pecuniary damages include:

  • Ambulance bills,
  • Emergency room bill,
  • Doctor bills,
  • Hospital bills
  • Lost wages, and
  • Car repair costs.

If you require future medical treatment, the estimated cost of any necessary treatment also qualifies as pecuniary damages. Likewise, a person’s loss of earning capacity and lost future benefits can be quantified.

What Are Non-Pecuniary Losses?

Non-pecuniary losses, or non-economic damages, are those damages that are not economic in nature, yet still affect a person’s lifestyle and enjoyment of life. They cannot be quantified mathematically like lost income or medical bills. Whereas pecuniary damages are objective in nature, non-pecuniary damages are more subjective.

Examples of non-pecuniary damages include:

  • Pain and suffering,
  • Emotional trauma,
  • Diminished quality of life, and
  • Permanent impairment and disfigurement.

Because these types of damages are subjective, these often become a point of contention when negotiating a settlement with the at-fault party’s insurance company.

How Do Personal Injury Lawyers Support Non-Pecuniary Damage Claims?

Personal injury victims rarely sustain only pecuniary harms in an accident. Consequently, their attorney must identify and help place a value on their clients’ non-pecuniary losses as well.

To recover compensation for non-pecuniary damages in your case, your lawyer must build a strong case with persuasive evidence and support.

Some factors that affect the value of non-pecuniary damages—and, thus, the overall value of your claim—include:

  • Your age,
  • The nature of your injuries,
  • The severity of your injuries, and
  • Whether any of your injuries are permanent.

To support your claim, your attorney must demonstrate how your injuries will affect your life. For example, if your injuries affect your ability to care for your children, enjoy activities you love, spend time with friends, visit places you used to go or cause you pain, your legal team will help you receive compensation for those non-pecuniary losses.

Choosing a Denver Personal Injury Lawyer to Handle Your Claim

If you or a loved one suffered injuries due to someone else’s negligence, you need an experienced lawyer to fight for your rights.

The personal injury lawyers of Denver Trial Lawyers ® are dedicated to fighting for people who have been wrongly harmed by the negligence of others. Our legal team fights tirelessly for our clients to hold the at-fault party accountable for their negligence. We carefully document your claim to support all compensatory damages you incurred, both pecuniary and non-pecuniary.

We take an aggressive stance, fighting to get you the full value of your losses. We hold the insurance companies accountable. If the at-fault party’s insurance company won’t make a reasonable settlement offer, we will not hesitate to take your case to trial. We are experienced, knowledgeable litigators and we put our experience to work for you.

We can assist you with all types of personal injury cases, including:

  • Car accidents,
  • Motorcycle accidents,
  • Pedestrian accidents,
  • Scooter accidents,
  • Uber & Lyft accidents,
  • Bus accidents,
  • Medical Malpractice,
  • Dangerous drugs
  • Defective products, and
  • Birth injuries,
  • Slip and fall
  • Wrongful death.

If you or a loved one was harmed by the negligence of another, the Denver Trial Lawyers ® can help.  

The time to make your claim is limited, and if you do not act quickly enough you may lose your right to ever make a claim for your injuries. 

Don’t lose your rights.  Contact the attorneys at the Denver Trial Lawyers ® to assist you with your claim. With more than 175 years of combined experience, we have a track record of success. Contact us or call (303) 571-5302 today to schedule your free personal consultation with one of our lawyers.