Personal injury lawyers from Fetterman & Associates, PA, understand the impact accidents can have on victims and their families. The injuries and losses sustained can be extensive and impact victims now and in the future.
After you are injured in an accident, it’s important to know what damages you can recover. While you may understand it is possible to recover compensation for accident-related medical costs and lost income, there are few who realize they can also receive other types of damages.
Common damages awarded in Florida personal injury cases are pain and suffering. Unfortunately, determining the value of pain and suffering compensation isn’t as simple or straightforward as other damages you can receive. However, they are important since this compensation can help you get the monetary support needed to get your life back on track after an accident.
Keep reading to learn more about how a value is assigned to pain and suffering in personal injury cases.
Pain and Suffering Defined
Before diving into the details of how pain and suffering compensation is determined, it’s important to learn what it is.
The term pain and suffering is used to describe the emotional and physical stress resulting from an injury. It is used to describe physical pain, such as soreness, aches, and physical activity limitations, as well as emotional pain, such as fear, insomnia, and anxiety.
In accident cases, pain and suffering are included as part of the general damages.
Proving Pain and Suffering in Florida Personal Injury Claims
When you experience a serious and life-changing injury, it may be challenging, if not impossible, to return to “normal.” Because of this, it’s smart to document how your accident-caused injuries are impacting your daily life.
This can be beneficial and useful for your personal injury lawyers as they pursue compensation on your behalf. Some of the documentation that can be used include mental health treatment and medical records that show how your life has been impacted by the injury or injuries you sustained.
After an accident, some victims struggle with mental anguish, depression, and anxiety. In these situations, working with a psychiatrist or counselor may be beneficial. Having documentation of these conditions can help prove the extent of your pain and suffering.
Statute of Limitations for Pain and Suffering Compensation in Florida
If you plan to file a claim for pain and suffering compensation in Florida, it’s required that you file the lawsuit within a set amount of time after the injury occurs. For personal injury claims in Florida, the statute of limitations is four years. If you don’t adhere to this time limit, you may lose your right to file a claim to receive compensation for pain and suffering.
Measuring Pain and Suffering in Florida Personal Injury Cases
As mentioned above, pain and suffering do not qualify as a type of economic damage. Because of this, there’s no universal standard to measure it. Every case is evaluated individually. Some of the factors looked at when determining pain and suffering in a Florida personal injury case include:
- The claimant’s age
- The claimant’s general health and any presence of pre-existing conditions
- Severity and degree of the injuries they experienced
- Ongoing and long-term consequences of their injuries
- Direct and indirect economic costs of an injury during the victim’s life
Once these factors are considered, there are three potential methods used to calculate the true value of pain and suffering in your personal injury case. These are described here.
With the multiplier method, your quantifiable damages (economic damages) are determined and then multiplied by a set number (usually between one and five). The number is determined by the factors considered above. The more severe your injuries are and the longer impact they will have on your life, the higher the number will be.
If you experience permanent injuries, like a TBI, amputation, or paralysis, your pain and suffering may have the highest multiplier (five) applied to them.
Per Diem Method
Besides the multiplier method, a per day method may be used. With this, a set monetary figure is applied to the case. This figure is multiplied by the number of days you have suffered from injuries caused by an accident.
Sometimes, the victim’s work income will be used as the daily monetary figure since they will lose income every day they can’t work because of the accident and injury.
Remember, if this method is used, the insurance company will want to know what a specific monetary amount should apply. For incidents that involve permanent or long-term injuries, this method may not be the best option. Our personal injury lawyers can provide more information about if this method is a good idea for your situation.
Today, many insurance companies are using computer software programs to determine damages in personal injury cases. While this can be effective, it’s still important to work with your attorney to ensure a fair amount is offered.
Limits on Pain and Suffering Compensation in Florida Personal Injury Claims
If you experience a severe injury that results in permanent or long-term damage, you may wonder if there will be a cap on the damages you can receive for pain and suffering. In the state of Florida, there are no specific caps on this type of compensation. While this is true, it’s important to manage expectations, which is something your personal injury lawyer will help you with. They can give you a general idea of what your pain and suffering compensation will be.
While caps are typically not applied to non-economic damages for personal injury cases in Florida, there are two exceptions. These include:
- Medical malpractice claims that have a cap of $500,000
- Claims against state and municipal governments that have a cap of $200,000
Remember, in Florida; comparative negligence is used. This means each party is assigned a percentage of fault for an accident. If you are assigned a percentage of fault, then this amount will be deducted from the value of your claim.
Understanding Your Rights for Compensation
If you are injured in an accident caused by someone else, you have rights. One right is to recover compensation for your injuries and losses.
Unfortunately, these cases can be complex and confusing, which is why it is smart to work with personal injury lawyers from Fetterman & Associates, PA. Our team is ready to help you recover the compensation you deserve for economic and non-economic damages that you experienced because of the accident and injuries you suffered.
The first step is to get in touch with our legal team to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. We will discuss your case and begin working to secure the compensation you deserve.