When injuries occur due to another party’s negligence, the injured party is entitled to compensation. Oftentimes, compensation accounts for more than just economic damages to include other non-economic damages such as pain and suffering damages.
While you may qualify to recover compensation after an injury, calculating and proving pain and suffering damages can be complicated. Fortunately, hiring the right Florida personal injury lawyers can help you understand all the damages you deserve and how you can recover them.
What is pain and suffering in a Florida personal injury case?
Pain and suffering is a legal term encompassing non-economic damages caused by an injury. Usually, pain and suffering include the victim’s physical pain and the mental anguish suffered due to the accident. Specifically, pain and suffering often include:
- Physical pain and suffering: Every injury is painful. However, some injuries resulting from accidents could last for weeks, months, and even years, causing long-term suffering in physical pain to the victims. Injuries that qualify for physical pain damage compensation may include traumatic brain injuries, neck pain, back pain, fractured bones, and paralysis.
- Emotional pain and suffering: After an accident, victims are all of a sudden faced with substantial medical bills, loss of bodily function, loss of wages, and could be facing long-term disabilities, which can have all have a tremendous toll on their emotional well-being. Psychological trauma, fear, anger, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and anxiety are all examples of emotional pain victims may suffer.
- Loss of consortium: If a personal injury accident results in the victim’s death, their family or beneficiaries could include loss of consortium in their claim. Loss of consortium refers to the family members’ pain and suffering following their loved one’s death. Examples of loss of consortium include loss of parental care and guidance, companionship, intimacy, love, and affection.
Are there caps on pain and suffering damages in a Florida personal injury case?
Unlike in the case of punitive damages, there are no limits on the amount of compensation you can seek for pain and suffering or other compensatory damages in Florida unless under exceptionally rare circumstances. However, anyone seeking compensation after an accident must document every damage they are claiming. These include all troubling outcomes such as medical bills, loss of future earning capacity, as well as pain and suffering.
Calculating pain and suffering damages
Insurance companies generally use two approaches to determine the value of your pain and suffering damages:
The multiplier method
The multiplier method involves considering the economic damages, such as medical expenses, property damage, lost wages, and multiplying this amount by a specified number. The multiplier number is usually between 1 and 5. The multiplier number is determined by the severity of the injury and other factors surrounding your injury, including the expected recovery time. Permanent injuries that include severe traumatic brain injuries, permanent total disability, or paralysis may sometimes use a multiplier of more than 5.
To illustrate, if your medical bills total $6,000, and your total lost wages amount to $2,000, the total economic damages will be $8,000. If 5 is used as a multiplier in your case, your total pain and suffering damage compensation will be $40,000.
Per diem method
Using the per diem approach, a specified amount of money is paid out every day a victim suffers pain. This amount is payable from the day of the accident to the day a victim attains maximum medical improvement (MMI) as determined by a qualified medical professional. An experienced Florida personal injury lawyer can help you get the fairest rates for your per diem payout.
How do you prove pain and suffering damages?
In Florida, the law views pain and suffering as a general damage claim. Therefore, it allows the use of evidence to determine its value. Some of the evidence your Florida personal injury attorneys could use to help you recover pain and suffering damages include:
- The doctor’s assessment and opinion of your injuries, including potential long-term effects.
- Drug prescription history for pain-related drugs, including mental illnesses drugs.
- Family, friends, and colleagues’ testimonies on how the injuries have changed your life.
- A mental health professional’s report of your current state of mind.
- A personal pain journal documenting your suffering and experiences after the accident.
The impact of accident-related pain and suffering can be enormous and often last a lifetime. While compensation may not reverse the lifelong damages resulting from an accident, getting a fair settlement can offer some form of relief to the pain and suffering that injury victims have to endure.
Seek compensation for pain and suffering with the help of our Florida injury lawyers
Are you experiencing pain and suffering as a result of another person’s negligence? For over 40 years, our skilled Florida personal injury lawyers have been helping injured Florida accident victims get full compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. Don’t suffer in silence. Contact us online or give us a call today to schedule your free consultation with our attorneys.