When a victim of a personal injury files a lawsuit against a negligent party, they are entitled to seek recovery for their tangible losses, including medical expenses and lost income. A common phrase many people are familiar with is “pain and suffering.” Legally, this phrase encompasses a broad range of non-economic damages. Are these non-economic damages also recoverable in a Hollywood, FL personal injury lawsuit?
In most Florida personal injury claims, a plaintiff is entitled to recover for pain and suffering. However, proving intangible damages is often challenging. The advantage is that pain and suffering damages are often significantly greater than the financial losses an injured individual incurred. Having an experienced Florida personal injury attorney is critical in maximizing your potential compensation.
At South Florida Law, PLLC, our Davie personal injury attorneys and staff understand the time and resources necessary to evaluate a plaintiff’s non-economic damages. If you or a loved one was wrongly hurt, contact our office to discuss your potential pain and suffering damages. Call (954) 932-7877 to schedule a free appointment.
Pain and Suffering in a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit
Serious injuries take a more significant toll on an individual than medical expenses and lost income. While these tangible financial losses are generally easier to calculate, they do not represent the total damages an injured person experiences. Pain and suffering damages arising from the physical, mental, and emotional harm that a person goes through.
For example, a car accident victim could be facing a lifetime of physical pain or disfigurement. Some injuries result in permanent disabilities with substantial medical expenses and a significant negative toll on the victim’s emotional and mental condition. Anything that adversely impacts your emotional and physical wellbeing is all elements of pain and suffering and is recoverable in a Florida personal injury lawsuit. Our Miami personal injury attorneys will gather evidence to support your pain and suffering claim.
Limitations on Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida
Surprisingly, not all states allow plaintiffs to pursue pain and suffering damages. Luckily, Florida permits injured plaintiffs to seek compensation for physical harm and emotional distress. However, there are some limitations.
For example, if someone is hurt in a car accident, they are only allowed to recover pain and suffering damages if specific conditions have been met. The injury must have caused a permanent or significant loss of bodily function. If the victim suffered a permanent disability, they are able to seek pain and suffering. Disfigurement or a permanent scar could also be a basis for non-economic damages. Finally, if there was a loss of life, survivors could be compensated for their grief through a wrongful death claim.
In other personal injury claims, pain and suffering usually must arise due to a physical injury. In Florida, receiving pain and suffering damages absent a physical injury is challenging.
Nonetheless, there are some exceptions. For instance, if you witnessed the death or severe injury of a family member, you could be awarded pain and suffering damages without sustaining a physical injury. Emotional damages are also recoverable if they stem from a psychologist or other mental health professional sharing confidential information.
Florida does not have a statutory cap on pain and suffering damage, except for cases of medical malpractice where your non-economic damages are limited to $500,000.
Maximizing your compensation for pain and suffering requires a skilled Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyer.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida
Pain and suffering damages are tricky to calculate. Physical pain and mental anguish are subjective because every individual is unique. However, our Aventura, FL personal injury attorneys will still work to place a figure on your harm.
Some factors that our office will consider include the amount of economic loss you suffered, your age, the severity of your injuries, ongoing complications or consequences, and the injury’s impact on your day-to-day activities.
Because there are no receipts or bills available that indicate the amount of your pain and suffering, our office will turn to other types of evidence. While there are no invoices that reflect your emotional distress, prescriptions, and receipts for medication used to address your mental and emotional condition could be used to demonstrate that you are experiencing harm. Expert testimony from a doctor, psychiatrist, or another medical professional is often used to provide evidence of the impact of a severe physical injury or trauma.
Every plaintiff will be affected differently by an injury. By keeping a personal log or journal, a comparison could be made between how your daily life was before and after an injury. When daily tasks become difficult or impossible because of an injury, you should be compensated. Friends and family members are also compelling sources of evidence of your injury’s impact.
Florida’s Comparative Negligence Rule and Pain and Suffering Damages
Florida is one of many states that follow a comparative negligence rule in personal injury cases. Under this rule, a plaintiff’s compensation will be reduced by the percentage of fault they contributed to an accident or injury. For instance, if you fell on a wet floor in a grocery store but were texting at the time of the accident, a jury could find that your actions contributed 30% to your injury. Therefore, your total compensation, including any pain and suffering damages you were awarded, would be reduced by 30%.
Florida also has a “no-fault” rule for many injury cases, including car accident lawsuits. Therefore, under certain circumstances, an injured plaintiff could be prohibited from filing a lawsuit for pain and suffering – no matter who caused an accident. You should always speak with our experienced Hallandale, FL personal injury attorneys if you have been injured.
A Florida Personal Injury Attorney Who Will Fight for Your Pain and Suffering Damages
Pain and suffering damages could be a significant part of an injured victim’s total compensation. You need a Hialeah, FL personal injury attorney that will aggressively fight for the compensation you deserve. Contact South Florida Law, PLLC at (954) 932-7877 to review your potential pain and suffering recovery.