Economic Damages vs. Non-Economic Damages in Arizona Injury Cases

Dec 13, 2018 | General Personal Injury

When you’re injured by someone else’s negligence in Arizona, the list of things you’ve lost may be long. High medical costs, paychecks you missed by being out of work, the chance to finish an important home improvement project or to attend your children’s school events…. The list is as unique as you are.

As these losses pile up, it’s important to take note of them. It’s also important to understand which losses you can seek compensation for under Arizona law.


Broadly speaking, “economic damages” include damages for which you can calculate a precise dollar amount. Medical bills, mileage costs to and from appointments, and repair bills for damaged property all fall in to the economic damages category.

The loss of an opportunity to receive money falls into this category as well. For instance, if you lose wages because you had to miss work to recover for an injury, your lost wages fall into the economic damages category. The loss of business opportunities and the economic value of household services you would otherwise have performed may be categorized as economic damages as well.

Receiving the full amount of economic damages you deserve requires you to track your expenses accurately. Anytime you pay money or lose an opportunity to receive money as a result of your injury, keep track of the fact. Save copies of paperwork that support your loss, like receipts and paperwork from your employer about the time you will be off the job.


The “non-economic” damages category covers losses that don’t come with a bill or receipt to demonstrate their dollar value. Common non-economic damages after an injury include pain and suffering, disability and disfigurement, and the negative mental and emotional impacts of the injury.

For example, your injury may prevent you from attending your child’s first soccer game or school recital, an event you deeply regret missing. It may make your favorite hobbies difficult or impossible to do, instead leaving you at home to suffer intense boredom and a sense of being left out. The stress of the injury and its aftermath can put corresponding stress on your relationships with family and friends.

It’s not always easy to put a dollar amount on non-economic damages, but in Arizona, you can seek compensation for these damages nonetheless.


To keep track of your losses, start a journal as soon as you can after your injury. Each day, write down your symptoms that day, any steps you took to deal with your situation (such as going to the doctor or calling your insurance company), and any changes you make in your life due to your injury, like missing work. If you pay a bill or make a purchase related to your injury, include a copy of the receipt in your notebook.

When you talk to an injury attorney, bring your notes with you. They can help you and your lawyer establish the full extent of your economic and non-economic damages.


If you’ve been injured in an accident, don’t hesitate to contact an experienced personal injury lawyer. The Folger Law Firm is dedicated to helping our clients seek the compensation they deserve. We work on a contingency basis, so you won’t pay fees unless we recover for you.

Get started today by calling (602) 774-0033 for your free case evaluation.