Handling Your Pain and Suffering Claim in FL
Calculating Pain & Suffering in FL Cases
When you file a personal injury lawsuit you can claim economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages may include medical expenses, lost wages, and lost future earnings. Non-economic damages include loss of companionship, emotional stress, and pain and suffering.
Economic damages can be easily calculated. To sum up medical expenses, you only need only to calculate medical bills already paid and expected future bills. Calculating pain and suffering is not as straightforward. To know how much pain and suffering damages you can claim after an accident, talk to a Florida attorney.
How Would A Personal Injury Attorney In FL Define Pain And Suffering?
Anything that causes you loss of comfort, happiness or opportunity after an accident can be termed as pain and suffering. Pain and suffering can be both physical and mental. Physical would be the pain you experience when recovering after your accident caused by a negligent party. Mental pain and suffering can be stress, depression, humiliation, fear or embarrassment. As you can see, these are not things you can attach a monetary value to. That’s what makes determining pain and suffering damages so complex. However, when such claims are made the law says fair compensation should be awarded according to the evidence.
How Are Pain And Suffering Calculated In FL?
There is no standard way of calculating pain and suffering damages. Insurance companies use different ways to calculate what to pay you when you make a claim. They consider several factors including:
- The severity of your injuries
- The nature of your injuries and the cost of treating them
- The pain and discomfort caused by the injuries
- The expected recovery time
- The impact of the injuries on your life
After looking at these factors an insurance company will start to calculate your pain plus suffering damages. Most insurance companies will use medical expenses and a multiplier to calculate your claim. The multiplier used usually falls between one and five. Assuming your medical costs are $50,000, by using a multiplier of 3, your damages would be $150,000. The total compensation you would receive would be $200,000 – $150,000 for pain and suffering and $50,000 for medical bills.
To simplify it, remember economic damages x pain and suffering multiplier = total value of the case. It goes without saying that the more serious your injuries, the more compensation you should expect. This method of calculation is only used in settlement calculations. If the insurer of a negligent party denies your claims, you can move to court. In court, a jury will listen to your case and award damages. Compensation awarded in court may be higher. Juries tend to sympathize with accident victims and award large pain and suffering damages where injuries are severe. However, should you go to court, the compensation your lawyer asks for should be justifiable. Have a candid discussion with your attorney on the maximum compensation you can seek.
What Would Injury Lawyer Need To Help Your Pain And Suffering Claim?
A personal injury attorney will tell you to document physical and emotional stress caused by your injuries. This evidence can be used in your case to prove pain and suffering. The documents that could make a pain and suffering lawsuit easier include:
- A mental health professional’s opinion on the emotional pain caused by the accident
- A pain and suffering testimony. Your lawyer will advise you to write down every time you are in physical or emotional pain. A day to day account of suffering can make a jury sympathize with you.
- A history of prescriptions. You should have a list of all medication taken for anxiety, depression, and pain.
- A testimony from a family member or friend. This highlights how your injuries have caused you and them pain and affected the family.
- An objective testimony of what you can and can’t do anymore. For example, maybe you cannot wear heels anymore without feeling pain or you cannot sleep on your back anymore. These very simple testimonies can be impactful because the jury can relate to them.
How Do You Prove Pain and Suffering in Your Florida Personal Injury Case?
We’ve all seen the movies and television dramas where a plaintiff walks into a courtroom and walks out a millionaire. Maybe they were in a car accident or slipped and fell in a local grocery store. Their attorney tells them they’ll make the defendant pay and they do, quite handsomely. Even though the plaintiff only suffered whiplash, the credits roll with them sitting on a beach drinking a Mai Tai.
In reality, it doesn’t really work this way. Very rarely does someone get millions of dollars in a personal injury case. The thing you need to remember is that you can only recover damages for injuries you actually suffered. For example, if you broke your arm, you’re only going to be entitled to damages related to your broken arm. You’ll get reimbursement for any medical bills. You can also demand compensation for time you missed from work. You may even get a few dollars for pain and suffering. Overall, however, you aren’t going to walk away rich.
People think it’s their Florida personal injury lawyer’s job to make them rich. That’s not true. Their job is to make you whole and make sure the defendant is held accountable. You can’t get money for injuries you didn’t suffer. Yes, hiring a personal injury attorney is going to increase your chances of winning your case. They’ll also be able to negotiate a fair settlement with the insurance company. But they can’t demand millions of dollars unless you were involved in a really serious accident. That’s why it’s a good idea to meet with a lawyer first and get an idea of what your case is worth. This way, you don’t have unrealistic expectations.
Who Is Entitled To Pain And Suffering In Florida?
Not all personal injury plaintiffs are entitled to pain and suffering. It really depends on the nature of your accident and the severity of your injuries. For example, if you suffered whiplash in a rear-end accident, chances are, you won’t receive pain and suffering. However, if you’re in a tractor trailer accident and need 3-4 surgeries afterwards, you probably will be entitled to pain and suffering.
These damages are intended to compensate plaintiffs for the physical and mental anguish caused by their accident. It isn’t something that is granted to all plaintiffs. Your Florida injury lawyer will have to specifically prove these damages. If they’re unable to do this, then you won’t get a dime.
How Does Your Florida Personal Injury Lawyer Prove Pain And Suffering?
Your attorney will prove your pain and suffering the same way they’ll prove any other type of damages. They need to submit evidence that shows you experienced physical and mental anguish. For example, maybe you have videos of how hard and painful your physical therapy sessions were. Or maybe you have documentation that you had to undergo several surgeries. All of these things will go a long way to prove your pain and suffering damages.
Some of the evidence that your attorney may submit include the following:
- Affidavits from friends and family that show you can no longer enjoy time with your family
- Reports from your doctors and psychiatrists showing that you’re being treated for pain management and depression
- Pictures of your injuries
- Medical documentation of all the treatment you had to undergo in order to recover from your injuries
Talk To Your Injury Lawyer About Your Pain And Suffering Claim
Our Florida personal injury lawyers at Burnetti, P.A have over 20 years of experience representing accident victims. When you take us on as your legal counsel, we will use our expertise to quantify your pain and suffering. If you need help valuing your case, call us to schedule a free case evaluation. There will be no legal fee unless we get you compensated.