How Do Juries Assess Damages for Catastrophic Injuries?

Every day people are injured because of the careless acts of others. While some of these accidents only result in minor injuries, many cause catastrophic injuries that lead to life-altering consequences to the victim. When this occurs, the victim may pursue compensation related to the damages for catastrophic injuries that he or she has suffered. Components of the damage claim may include:

Economic Damages

Economic damages are objective and can be quantified. These damages include:

Property Damage

Property damage includes the cost to repair or replace the property that was damaged in the accident. This may include the cost to repair a vehicle or to replace items in a vehicle that were broken. The value of these items is determined by the fair market value of the property or the costs to repair the property.

Medical Expenses

Catastrophic injuries are often associated with high medical expenses, which include:

  • Emergency room bills
  • Costs of hospital stays
  • Surgery expenses
  • Diagnostic tests like MRIs, CT scans and X-rays
  • Assistive devices
  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological counseling

Although the incurred expenses are easy to calculate, a medical expert may need to testify if there is any ongoing medical treatment to be expected.

Lost Income

Injury victims may also be entitled to recover wages lost while receiving medical treatment and recovery.  Additionally, damages for lost earning capacity can be part of the claim if the accident had a significant impact on future earning potential. An economic expert may need to testify about how much the accident is likely to impair the injury victim’s ability to earn a living.

Non-Economic Damages

The other major category of damages is non-economic damages. These include such factors as:

  • Pain and suffering
  • Mental anguish
  • Inconvenience
  • Fear and anxiety
  • Loss of enjoyment of life
  • Loss of consortium

Several factors are considered in determining the extent at which a personal injury victim should be compensated for non-economic damages:

  • The severity of the injuries
  • The impact of the injuries on life’s normal enjoyment
  • The pain experienced
  • The duration of the pain suffered

Contact a Personal Injury Attorney

If you or a loved one was injured in an accident resulting in catastrophic injuries, you may be able to pursue compensation from the negligent or reckless party that caused the accident. Udall Shumway’s skilled personal injury attorneys have represented accident victims since 1965, pursuing maximum compensation against those responsible. Contact us at (480) 461-5302 to discuss your case confidentially with an experienced personal injury attorney.


This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Damages for Catastrophic Injuries, or any other personal injury, please feel free to contact Brian T. Allen at  480.461.5335,  log on to,  or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.