How Are Pain And Suffering Damages Calculated In Florida?
When you’ve been in an accident, it is important you understand all the damages you are owed. Most people know that the at-fault party has to pay for medical costs and even lost income, but few understand that they may be entitled to other forms of damages. One of the most common forms of damages is pain and suffering. Pain and suffering compensation is not as straightforward as other damages, but they can help victims get their lives back on track. Here is everything you need to know about pain and suffering damages and how they are determined in the state of Florida.
What Is Pain And Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a legal term for both the physical and emotional stress suffered from an injury. It includes both physical pain like aches, soreness, and limitations on physical activity and emotional pain like anxiety, insomnia, and fear. Pain and suffering is included in the general damages in a claim, and is considered a non-economic damage because it doesn’t have a straightforward value like the cost of a hospital bill.
How Is Pain And Suffering Measured?
Since pain and suffering is not an economic damage, there is no universal standard of measurement. Each case is looked at individually. To determine pain and suffering Florida courts will consider a variety of factors including:
● The age of the claimant
● The general health of the claimant including any pre-existing conditions
● The degree and severity of each injury
● The long-term and ongoing consequences of the injury
● Both the direct and indirect economic costs of the injury over a plaintiff’s lifetime
The courts will measure these factors in the evidence to begin determining a value.
How Is Pain And Suffering Proven?
Proving pain and suffering is a complex legal process that truly requires the support of a skilled attorney. Attorneys will use a variety of evidence including medical records and psychological evaluations, expert witness statements, and the difference in lifestyle before and after the injury. Collecting all of this evidence is a lot of work and can be difficult to manage on your own, especially when you are injured. To get the full value of your pain and suffering, you really need to work with an attorney who understands the Florida legal system.
How Is The Value Of Pain And Suffering Determined?
One of the most common ways to determine the value of the pain and suffering is to employ a “multiplier method.” Basically, the economic damages are multiplied by a number, 1 to 5 depending on the severity of the injury. For example, if a person has a permanent injury such as traumatic brain injury or a spinal cord injury and has lost $10,000 in hospital bills. An attorney will argue for $50,000 in pain and suffering damages.
Another way is with a “per diem” or per day method. A dollar amount is assigned for everyday based on your earnings. Say you earn $200 a day at your job. Your injuries cause you six months or 180 days of pain through the course of your treatments, your attorney may ask for $36,000. The method your attorney will use depends entirely on the specifics of your case.
Is There A Limit On The Value Of Pain And Suffering?
In the case of very severe injuries that cause long-term or permanent damage, you may be wondering if there is a cap on pain and suffering damages. The state of Florida does not have specific caps for pain and suffering, however, your attorney will let you know what you can reasonably expect based on your case. Keep in mind that Florida uses a system of comparative negligence which will assign a percentage of fault to each party. Whatever percentage you are assigned with be deducted from your claim value.
The best way to ensure you get the full value of your injury claim is to work with a knowledgeable Florida attorney. At Your Injury Law Firm, our attorneys have over a combined century of experience helping calculate a fair value for our clients. If you’d like to learn more about what your injury claim is really worth, give us a call for a free case review.