Every claim includes 2 necessary items: Liability and Damages.
To establish legal liability you need to demonstrate that someone operated his or her motor vehicle negligently and that but for that negligence the harm caused would not have happened.
Damages are the “harms” caused as a result of the negligent act. Damages generally fall into 3 categories which are:
(1) economic losses;
(2) non-economic losses; and
(3) punitive or exemplary damages.
Generally, only economic (or “special”) damages and non-economic (or “general”) damages are present in most claims. Punitive or economic damages are money damages designed to punish an otherwise negligent operator if the conduct complained of is outrageous. An example would be found in the case of a drunk driver, especially one with prior drunk driving convictions.
Economic losses include lost wages, sick time used and medical bills incurred and to be incurred in the future.
Non-economic losses include compensation for injury, pain, suffering, inconvenience and interruption of life-style.