Most people are familiar with the phrase “pain and suffering” as it relates to a personal injury lawsuit. For example, nearly everyone who has been involved in a car accident was advised to sue for “pain and suffering” by a least one friend or family member. But what does “pain and suffering” actually mean? In the simplest terms, if you are injured because of another’s negligence, you are entitled to seek compensation for your financial losses incurred because of your injury. Additionally, you can recover for your physical and mental pain as well. Below, our experienced Ft. Lauderdale personal injury lawyers at South Florida Law, PLLC, look at “pain and suffering” and personal injury lawsuits in more detail.
What is Pain and Suffering in a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit?
if you are injured, you will likely suffer both physical and mental stress. This stress you experience is collectively known as pain and suffering. For example, someone who is injured in a car accident in Hallandale Beach could have sustained a back sprain and could be losing sleep because of anxiety related to the traumatic event.
Under Florida law, pain and suffering includes a wide variety of conditions and experiences – though it is usually split between physical and mental suffering. People who have mental suffering experience such things as embarrassment, anger, fear, depression, humiliation, and other emotional trauma that negatively impacts their ability to enjoy their life. Physical suffering is more than the pain a person experiences at the time of the accident or injury. It also encompasses the discomfort and pain experienced during the recovery process, including post-surgical recovery and physical therapy. Physical pain and suffering also refers to a person’s inability to perform physical activities they were capable of doing before the injury. If you were an avid water skier, but a leg injury prevents you from engaging in your favorite pastime, you are experiencing a form of physical suffering.
When an individual is injured due to another’s negligence, they might be able to seek damages through a settlement or personal injury lawsuit. Pain and suffering are included in a category of damages commonly referred to as “non-economic.” Unlike the financial losses someone incurs because of an injury, such as medical expenses or lost wages, non-economic damages are challenging to value. Nonetheless, our Hallandale Beach personal injury lawyer believes an injured person deserves to be compensated for their pain and suffering and will work to place a dollar figure on your physical and mental pain.
How to Calculate Pain and Suffering in Florida
As stated above, calculating pain and suffering damages is more complicated than gathering bills or receipts. Unlike medical costs or lost wages, pain and suffering is intangible. While Florida law recognizes pain and suffering as general non-economic damages, an injured plaintiff must still be able to substantiate the pain and suffering they experienced and will reasonably continue to experience in the future.
When evaluating your pain and suffering, our Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney will consider many different factors. For instance, the severity of your injuries will play a significant role. If you lost an arm in a Florida car accident, then your pain and suffering is likely more intense than if you fractured your wrist. The time it takes you to recover will also impact the value of your pain and suffering claim. Some people recover faster from similar injuries and individuals should be compensated accordingly. Your injury also will affect other people. If you are disabled or unable to perform ordinary household tasks, it should be considered in the pain and suffering calculation.
Evidence to Support Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida
No court or jury in Florida will award you monetary compensation for your pain and suffering without proof. While it is more challenging to provide evidence for intangible harm than presenting several doctor bills, there are many different types of evidence available to substantiate a plaintiff’s pain and suffering claim. It is important to remember that when presenting evidence for pain and suffering, the focus is not only on the injury’s immediate impact. What the plaintiff could have physically done before the injury and what they are anticipated to be able to do in the future is also critical.
In many cases, the injured plaintiff provides convincing evidence of their experiences. Detailing their physical pain, discomfort, or describing their emotional distress is often very persuasive.
Another compelling type of evidence our Miami personal injury lawyer will gather is testimony from friends and family members to explain the injury’s impact on your life. For instance, if you are married, the testimony of your spouse is admissible and important.
Medical evidence is also crucial in substantiating a pain and suffering claim. Testimony or a written opinion by your treating physician could describe to a jury or judge how your injury causes your physical pain. Furthermore, proof of prescription medication used for pain, anxiety, or depression offers evidence of your pain and suffering. In addition to your doctor, an independent psychologist or another medical professional could be used to describe your current state of mind.
Our Florida Personal Injury Attorney Will Fight for Your Pain and Suffering Compensation
When someone suffers an unexpected injury, they will experience many adverse effects, from financial losses to physical pain or depression. Our Hollywood, FL personal injury lawyers understand the physical and mental toll an injury takes on a person. At South Florida Law, PLLC, our staff and lawyers are committed to fighting for injured victims so they can receive the compensation they deserve. If you or a loved one were hurt and are experiencing pain and suffering, call our office at (954) 932-7877 to schedule a free appointment.