Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida
After accidents caused by someone else’s negligent or reckless conduct, injured parties can attempt to recover damages from the at-fault individual by filing a personal injury claim. These damages could include compensation for a wide range of accident-related losses, including: medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage. It is also possible, however, for plaintiffs to recover compensation not only for their actual economic losses, but also for losses that are more difficult to quantify, including the pain and suffering they endured as a result of their accident.
The amount of pain and suffering that a person endures because of an accident varies depending on the specific circumstances of a case, so if you were recently injured in an accident, it is important to contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can evaluate your case and explain your recovery options.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
Compensation for an accident victim usually includes payment for both economic and non-economic damages, the first of which refers to all out-of-pocket expenses resulting from an accident, including:
- Past and future medical bills;
- Lost wages;
- Property damage;
- Loss of future income; and
- Loss of benefits.
Non-economic damages, on the other hand, is a term used to describe a less tangible, but equally impactful harm caused by an accident and includes everything from compensation for emotional distress and disfigurement to disability and pain and suffering.
What is Pain and Suffering?
Compensation for pain and suffering is one of the most common forms of non-economic damages and takes into account both the physical and mental damage caused by a person’s injuries. The physical aspect of pain and suffering damages compensates victims for the actual pain that they felt when injured, during rehabilitation, or even the pain that they will feel in the future. It is also possible, however, to recover damages for mental pain and suffering, which includes compensation for fear, anxiety, depression, and other negative emotions stemming from an accident.
Calculating Pain and Suffering
Calculating pain and suffering damages is a difficult process, as it is the most subjective component of compensation for accident-related injuries. To assist in this calculation, courts look at a number of factors, including:
- The severity of the injuries in question;
- Estimates on recovery time;
- The impact of the injuries on the plaintiff’s day-to-day life;
- The type of medical treatment that the plaintiff requires; and
- The plaintiff’s overall prognosis and the potential for permanent harm.
There are a number of pieces of evidence that can be used to support the amount of pain and suffering that resulted from a plaintiff’s injuries, such as:
- Medical documentation recording the extent of the plaintiff’s injuries;
- Medical documentation related to the plaintiff’s treatment and future prognosis;
- Expert testimony from mental health professionals;
- Personal testimony from the plaintiff on the impact of the injuries in his or her daily life; and
- Witness testimony from family, friends, and co-workers.
To learn more about collecting evidence to prove your own pain and suffering, please contact our legal team today.
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