In a personal injury case, the term “pain and suffering” describes the physical, emotional, and mental suffering you experience after an injury. It is also a type of non-economic damage that will compensate you for its impact on your life.
Based on Florida law, you have the right to pursue damages for pain and suffering and other non-economic losses. While this is true, you need to understand how the damages are determined and the potential limitations that are in place.
As an experienced team of legal professionals in Florida who have handled thousands of personal injury cases, our team at Fetterman & Associates can review your case and help determine the amount of compensation you may be entitled to. The first step is to get in touch and schedule a free consultation.
How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated in Florida?
Just like with any other loss in a personal injury claim, the pain and suffering damages you receive have to be proven and supported by evidence. While this is true, calculating the value of pain and suffering is often more complex than accounting for things like lost wages, medical costs, and other types of economic damages.
If an insurance company makes an offer to settle your claim, the adjuster will likely use one of the following methods to determine the value of your pain and suffering. These include:
- Use a multiplier: It’s possible to add a multiplier to the value of your economic losses. The multiplier used is determined by how severe your injuries are and how they can impact you in the long term.
- Determine a daily rate: With a daily rate, the insurance company considers how long the injury will impact your life. This is also known as the “per diem” calculation.
While these are common methods that insurance companies will use to calculate pain and suffering, the adjuster may not account for it. Additionally, they may not even make an offer to settle your claim. These are two reasons why it is so important for you to work closely with our legal team to settle your claim.
How Much Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in Florida?
While some states have a damage cap for pain and suffering damages, this isn’t the case in Florida. The exception to this rule is if the lawsuit involves any type of medical malpractice. In that situation, there will be a limit of $500,000 for non-economic damages.
How Do You Calculate Emotional Pain and Suffering?
As mentioned above, calculating emotional pain and suffering is done by using a multiplier or a per diem method. The multiplier method determines your current and future financial losses caused by your injuries. After that, it is possible to determine damages for your emotional distress by using a multiplier. Usually, the number ranges between 1.5 and five, based on how severe your injuries are.
With the per diem method, a compensation rate is applied to the emotional stress that you have suffered. The rate is based on how severe your injuries and distress are. The expert testimony and medical records will determine the total number of days that apply to your situation, which may be years or even decades.
With both methods, the more evidence you have available, and the stronger case you can form with the help of your attorney, the more compensation you can receive. It’s important to remember that emotional pain and suffering are unique in each accident case. Because of this, they often vary significantly.
How Much Pain and Suffering Should I Ask For?
The amount of pain and suffering damages you request depends on how severe your accident and injuries were. Talking to an attorney will help you determine what to ask for.
To figure out what to ask for, there are a few steps. The first is to determine how much your economic losses are. This requires you to add up all medical costs, damages to your property, and other tangible costs involved. This is the easy part. After that, you must determine how “severe” your situation is. This is subjective; however, consider how long you will be in pain. Is it something that will fade or something you must deal with for the rest of your life? At this point, a number between one and five is assigned to your pain and suffering.
Once you have this amount, you multiply your tangible damages by the multiplier. This is something that your attorney and the insurance company will do. Remember that these two numbers probably won’t match, which is when your attorney can negotiate on your behalf to get the actual compensation you receive as close to the value your attorney determined as possible.
Let Our Team Help with Your Injury Lawsuit Valuation
As you can see, several factors determine the value of your pain and suffering. Because of how complex this can be, it is recommended that you work with our legal team. We will evaluate your case and help determine what your pain and suffering should be valued. The first step is to get in touch with our legal team at Fetterman & Associates to schedule a free initial consultation.