If you are injured by someone else’s negligence, one of the first questions you may ask is if you can receive compensation for your injuries.
Calculating damages after being involved in an accident isn’t easy. Not only do you have to focus on healing and overcoming the injuries you sustained, but you also must deal with doctors, car mechanics, insurance adjusters, and keeping up with bills while out of work. It can be exhausting.
While you may find some settlement calculators online, these are typically vague and don’t consider comparative negligence. Also called a comparative fault, comparative negligence is what determines how much each involved party was at fault. Put simply, were you completely blameless in the accident?
Before diving into specifics, there are a few things to understand.
Types of Damages You Can Recover
There are several types of damages in a personal injury case you can claim and may be able to recover for. These include:
- Non-economic or general damages: loss of enjoyment of life, pain and suffering, loss of consortium, emotional distress, inconvenience
- Economic or special damages: out-of-pocket expenses, cost of medical treatment, property damage, estimated future medical costs, future lost earnings
- Punitive damages: punishment
Your attorney will use the multiplier to determine how damages of your case should be added up. Insurance adjusters will typically multiply that number between 1.5 and five and the number will be higher or lower based on several factors, which include:
- Impact on day-to-day life
- The severity of the injuries
- Permanente effects
- Medical treatment received
- The treatment you may need in the future
Your attorney will argue for a higher multiplier to be used and the adjuster will want a lower one. In some cases, the ceiling (which is five) is increased, but this depends on the severity of your injuries. Typically, this is reserved for situations where a permanent disability occurred.
Calculating Damages Based on Your Degree of Fault and Where the Accident Occurred
Florida follows the pure comparative negligence recovery system. What this means is that the settlement you receive will be reduced by your degree of fault or blame in the accident.
A rough version of the settlement formula used for a personal injury case in Florida is a function of your damages, your fault in the accident, and how likely your case is to be successful.
Also, the full value of your damages will include your lost wages, pain, and suffering, and out-of-pocket medical bills.
Since Florida uses the pure comparative fault system, it means that some percentage of fault is assigned to the plaintiff during your settlement negotiations, and unless you were in an accident where you were rear-ended, this is not likely to be zero percent fault.
Hire an Attorney for Help
There are so many factors in any personal injury case that it’s not possible to just put a number in a formula and get your settlement amount. Due to all these factors, it’s a good idea to hire a personal injury attorney for help with your case. To learn more, contact Fetterman & Associates by calling 561-845-2510.