Calculating Florida Car Accident Awards
Calculating potential compensation for accident-related injuries can be extremely challenging and requires the gathering of a significant amount of information and evidence. This can be difficult to achieve without legal assistance, so if you or a loved one were recently involved in a car crash and have questions about your possible recovery options, it is critical to contact an experienced Fort Lauderdale auto accident lawyer who can help you seek the correct amount of compensation for your losses.
There are three types of damages available in personal injury cases, including:
- Economic damages;
- Non-economic damages; and
- Punitive damages.
Economic damages are awarded based on the financial losses sustained by accident victims and so compensate injured parties for:
- Medical expenses;
- The cost of future treatment;
- Lost wages; and
- Property damage; and
- Lost earning capacity.
Estimating these damages can be complicated, especially for those whose injuries will require long-term care. It is possible, however, to do so with the aid of an attorney who can help injured parties collect receipts, medical bills, and other records documenting actual expenses incurred as a result of the accident. These numbers can then be used, as well as testimony from experts, to calculate the cost of future treatments.
Similarly, pay stubs, tax returns, and W-2 forms can be used to estimate how much a person lost while unable to work due to an injury. This task becomes more difficult when it comes to calculating lost earning capacity (which applies in cases where the severity of an injury results in permanent disability that affects the victim’s job prospects). In these situations, injured parties may need to rely on the opinion of vocational specialists, as well as details about their job history and prior paychecks to reach a final total.
Non-economic damages, often referred to as general damages, are much less concrete than economic losses, as they include things that are more difficult to quantify, including:
- The pain and suffering endured as a result of the accident;
- Loss of companionship;
- Loss of enjoyment of life resulting from permanent disability; and
- Emotional distress.
Unfortunately, non-economic damages are not awarded through insurance coverage, but can be issued as a result of a court order. Generally, a person will be eligible for these types of damages if they suffer a serious injury or an injury that involves:
- The significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- A permanent injury;
- Significant and permanent disfigurement or scarring; or
Those who satisfy this threshold may be able to file a car accident claim in court, where a jury or judge will be tasked with calculating the cost of these losses.
Courts only award punitive damages in cases of particularly disturbing negligence or recklessness. Even in these situations, however, punitive damages will be limited to the greater of:
- Three times the amount of the sum of a plaintiff’s economic and non-economic damages; or
Whether or not you could qualify for punitive damages will depend on the specific circumstances of your case. Please call our office today to learn more.
Call Today for Help Calculating Your Own Car Accident Settlement
To speak with an experienced car accident attorney about how much compensation you could be entitled to after a crash, please call Boone & Davis 954-566-9919.