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Las Vegas Personal Injury Attorneys / Blog / Catastrophic Injury / Calculating Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases: What You Need to Know

Calculating Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases: What You Need to Know


Catastrophic injuries are life-altering events that can have profound impacts on victims and their families. These injuries often require extensive medical treatment, long-term care, and can result in significant financial burdens. When pursuing a legal claim for a catastrophic injury, accurately calculating damages is crucial to ensure fair compensation. At Mainor Ellis Injury Lawyers, our lawyers work with our clients to break down the different types of damages and explain how they are assessed in catastrophic injury cases.

Types of Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases

Economic Damages

  • Medical Expenses: One of the most substantial components of economic damages, medical expenses cover all costs related to the treatment of the injury. This includes hospital bills, surgeries, medication, physical therapy, and future medical care. To accurately calculate these damages, it is essential to compile all medical records and bills and obtain expert testimony on the estimated costs of future medical needs.
  • Lost Wages: Catastrophic injuries often prevent victims from working, either temporarily or permanently. Lost wages are calculated based on the income the victim would have earned if they had not been injured. This can include salary, bonuses, and benefits. For future lost wages, economic experts may be brought in to project the victim’s earning potential over their expected working life.
  • Loss of Earning Capacity: In some cases, the injury may permanently impair the victim’s ability to earn an income. Calculating loss of earning capacity involves assessing the difference between the victim’s earning potential before and after the injury. Factors such as age, occupation, skills, and education are considered in this assessment.

Non-Economic Damages

  • Pain and Suffering: These damages compensate for the physical pain and emotional distress caused by the injury. Since pain and suffering are subjective, they are often the most challenging to quantify. Courts typically use a multiplier method, where the total economic damages are multiplied by a number based on the severity of the pain and suffering.
  • Loss of Consortium: This refers to the impact of the injury on the victim’s relationship with their spouse or family. It compensates for the loss of companionship, affection, and support. Testimonies from family members and psychological evaluations can help establish the extent of this loss.
  • Emotional Distress: Catastrophic injuries can lead to significant emotional and psychological trauma. Compensation for emotional distress covers the mental suffering the victim endures, including anxiety, depression, and PTSD. Professional evaluations from psychologists or psychiatrists are often used to support these claims.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not awarded in every case. They are reserved for situations where the defendant’s actions were particularly egregious or malicious. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the wrongdoer and deter similar conduct in the future. The amount awarded is based on the severity of the defendant’s misconduct and their financial status.

Assessing Damages in Catastrophic Injury Cases

Accurately assessing damages requires a thorough understanding of the injury’s impact on the victim’s life. Here are key steps in the assessment process:


Collecting comprehensive documentation is vital. This includes medical records, employment records, and receipts for any out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury.

Expert Testimony

Medical experts, economists, vocational experts, and mental health professionals provide crucial insights into the long-term effects of the injury and the associated costs.

Life Care Plans

For severe injuries requiring long-term care, life care plans outline the future medical and non-medical needs of the victim, helping to project future costs.

Schedule a Consultation with Our Office Today

Calculating damages in catastrophic injury cases is a complex process that requires careful consideration of various factors. Victims must work closely with experienced attorneys and experts to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. At Mainor Ellis Injury Lawyers, our dedicated Las Vegas Catastrophic Injury Lawyers are committed to helping victims of catastrophic injuries navigate this challenging process and secure their financial future. If you or a loved one has suffered a catastrophic injury, contact us today to discuss your case and explore your legal options.



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