What is a Personal Injury Case Really Worth?
Personal injury lawsuits can vary widely. Whether it’s a slip and fall incident, a car crash, a fall that causes a traumatic brain injury or a workplace mishap, the facts and circumstances of each case will foretell how much a plaintiff may receive in compensation.
How can you decipher how much a potential personal injury lawsuit may be worth? Ultimately, it all comes down to the concept of damages.
Florida law defines economic damages (§768.81b) as:
- Past lost income and future lost income;
- Medical and, if necessary, funeral expenses;
- Lost support and services;
- Replacement value of lost personal property;
- Loss of appraised fair market value of property;
- Costs of any construction repairs, which includes labor expenses, overhead and profit; and
- Any other economic loss that occurred as a result of the injury for which you are suing.
But this concept does not simply end with economic damages.
Nearly all damages in personal injury cases are considered compensatory. This refers to the compensation owed to a plaintiff following an accident or injury as a result of another individual or entity’s negligence.
Damages serve to compensate a plaintiff for whatever they lost as a result of the injury. Sometimes, it is easy to put a dollar amount to that loss; other times, it can be hard to decide exactly how much mental anguish is worth. Injuries with long term effects can be even more difficult to contend with, as the plaintiff likely does not know how long they will be negatively affected.
The following include some of the more common types of economic damages seen in personal injury cases.
- Medical necessities: Doctor bills, emergency room expenses and prescription costs are all monetarily quantifiable. Reimbursement for medical treatment is a common result in personal injury cases. Compensation for estimated future medical costs are also commonly included.
- Income: If your injury has stopped you from working or from working for a long period of time, you are likely eligible to recoup any lost wages from the time you were injured. This can also affect any future wages you may lose out on as a result of your injury as well.
- Property: If your property, like a car, electronics, high-value jewelry or even clothing, was damaged as a result of the incident, you are likely eligible to receive a reimbursement for their value.
Some of the non-economic damages include:
- Pain and suffering: This can include physical and mental pain and suffering. If the plaintiff is dealing with or has dealt with physical pain or discomfort as a result of the injury, they are likely eligible for some financial compensation. Likewise, if they are suffering from mental anguish because of their injury, including concern over job prospects or their physical capabilities in the future, they are likely eligible.
- Loss of enjoyment: If your injuries stop you from, quite simply, doing things that are fun, you may be eligible to receive compensation for this. This might include hobbies that involve physical movement or heightened activity.
- Loss of consortium: This centers the impact the incident and injuries may have on the plaintiff’s relationship with their spouse. These incidents can sometimes be life-changing events, and, understandably, that can put a strain on a marriage.
Are you considering filing a personal injury lawsuit?
Are you interested in filing a personal injury lawsuit? Don’t hesitate to contact the attorneys at Boone & Davis in Fort Lauderdale for assistance and for answers to any of your questions.