Are Non-Economic Damages Available in Hair Straightener Injury Lawsuits?

Damages are broadly divided into three categories: economic, non-economic, and punitive. Since punitive damages aren’t available in most cases, economic and non-economic tend to be the major types that victims seek in hair straightener lawsuits. Economic damages are fairly easy to calculate. Common examples are medical bills and lost wages.

Meanwhile, non-economic damages are more subjective and include such types as pain and suffering. Can victims in hair straightener lawsuits ask for non-economic damages? If so, which ones might be available? Rueb Stoller Daniel examines this issue.

What Are Non-Economic Damages?

This category of damages refers to compensation for subjective, non-monetary losses. They are less easy to calculate and often require the input of expert witnesses. Some examples are pain and suffering and emotional distress.

While defendants and their lawyers often dismiss these losses, they are very much real. Victims of defective consumer products do suffer such injuries and should be compensated for them when negligence is involved.

Contrary to popular belief, the availability of non-economic damages does not mean victims get a blank check. Verdicts awarding damages are sometimes reduced on appeal if they are considered excessive. Eleven states even place legal limits on the amount of non-economic damages that victims can recover:

  • Alaska
  • Colorado
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Kansas
  • Maryland
  • Mississippi
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Tennessee

Despite this, jury awards of non-economic damages will generally stand if the victim’s injuries are genuine. Jury members are in the unique position of being able to determine how true the pain and suffering (for example) are. If you have been harmed by a hair relaxer product and experienced non-economic losses, don’t hesitate to talk with an attorney.

An African American woman using a hair relaxer product.

What Types of Non-Economic Damages May I Claim in a Hair Straightener Lawsuit?

Like many personal injury and mass tort lawsuits, hair straightener claims involve numerous damages. Medical bills, lost wages, and other economic losses tend to dominate these lawsuits. Certainly, anyone who has suffered these injuries should seek compensation for them. However, victims should not overlook or downplay non-economic losses they have experienced.

Remember, all lawsuits and injury victims are different. The damages you can ask for will vary from those of another case. However, the following are three major categories of non-economic losses that hair straightener victims might be able to seek.

Pain and Suffering

Victims of defective hair relaxer products may develop cancer and other diseases. Whatever conditions the victim has may cause an immense amount of pain and suffering, especially due to medical treatments.

Emotional Distress

Although similar to pain and suffering, this is a distinct type of injury. The anxiety, stress, depression, and trauma of developing an illness can take its toll on a victim. These can all lead to emotional problems.

Lost Quality of Life

Any disease, especially a terminal or difficult-to-treat one like cancer, can decrease a victim’s quality of life. The victim may not be able to enjoy the same activities she once did before the hair straightener injury.

Your attorney can guide you through the steps of a hair relaxer case, handle settlement negotiations on your behalf, and represent you in court proceedings.

Let Us Advise You of Your Legal Rights Today

Were you hurt in some way because of hair relaxer products? Are you unsure which types of damages you can ask a court to award you or in what amounts? Maybe you have questions about if you’re eligible for a hair relaxer claim. It’s time to speak with a knowledgeable hair straightener injury attorney.

That’s where the mass tort lawyers of Rueb Stoller Daniel come in. Give us a call today at 1-866-CALL-RSD to learn more.