If you suffered injuries in a Florida accident, you understandably want to pursue a claim against the responsible party.
Part of your potential settlement includes compensation for your non-economic damages.
These damages are subjective in value and challenging to calculate because there are no accompanying financial losses. One of the major components of non-economic damages is pain and suffering.
Read on to learn more about pain and suffering damages in Florida.
At Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro, our experienced Tallahassee, Florida injury lawyers have witnessed firsthand the devastating effects an accident can have on a person’s physical, emotional, and financial well-being.
In Florida, pain and suffering damages are vital personal injury compensation.
To maximize your potential settlement, it’s crucial to understand pain and suffering calculation methods and what factors impact your potential compensation.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
Pain and suffering damages are non-economic damages that compensate accident victims for the physical pain and emotional distress they experience due to their injuries.
The court determines the appropriate amount of compensation by considering various factors.
Florida does not have specific caps on pain and suffering damages for personal injury accidents.
However, the state follows the doctrine of comparative negligence, reducing damages awarded if you are partially responsible for the accident.
For instance, if a jury finds you 30% responsible for the accident, your total damages are reduced by that amount.
Proving that your injuries resulted from the accident in question is crucial when seeking pain and suffering damages in Florida.
Evidence such as medical records, expert testimony, and witness statements can demonstrate the extent of the physical and emotional trauma you endured.
Working with an experienced Florida personal injury attorney is essential to navigate the complex legal system and advocate for your rights.
An attorney can gather evidence, negotiate with insurance companies, and represent you in court.
Besides pain and suffering damages, you could be entitled to other forms of compensation, such as medical expenses, lost wages, and property damage.
An attorney will help determine the full extent of damages you’re entitled to receive.
Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples in Florida
Insurance companies and juries use two methods to calculate pain and suffering awards and settlements—the per diem method and the multiplier method.
The per diem method assigns a dollar amount to each day of pain and suffering, usually your daily salary. The person calculates the total amount of your pain and suffering by multiplying this number by the number of days.
For example, you made $100 a day before the accident and underwent treatment for 92 days. Your pain and suffering is $9,200.
The multiplier method involves multiplying your economic damages by a certain number to arrive at the pain and suffering damages.
The multiplier is usually between 1.5 and 5, depending on the severity of your injuries. Less severe cases receive a lower multiplier, while five is reserved for the most severe injuries.
For example, you suffered a permanent spinal cord injury in a car accident. You have $500,000 in economic damages. Your attorney might argue your pain and suffering is at least $2,500,000.
Factors that Impact Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida
Several factors impact the amount of compensation an accident victim receives when suing for pain and suffering in Florida.
Type and Severity of Your Injuries
The type and severity of the injuries impact your pain and suffering damages in a personal injury settlement.
Injuries that are severe and have long-term effects on the victim’s daily life, such as chronic pain, may result in higher compensation than less severe injuries.
Similarly, injuries that require extensive medical treatment or rehabilitation may lead to higher pain and suffering damages.
Liability is another critical factor that affects the settlement amount for pain and suffering damages. When the other party was entirely at fault, you could receive a higher pain and suffering settlement.
In cases where multiple parties share liability, the court may determine each party’s fault percentage and will reduce your damages accordingly.
The available insurance coverage is another crucial factor that affects your pain and suffering settlement amount.
If the at-fault party has limited insurance coverage, you might not receive the compensation you deserve unless you directly sue the defendant.
And even if you win the lawsuit, the other party might be “judgment proof.” In other words, they don’t have the money to pay the awarded damages.
Contact a Florida Personal Injury Lawyer
Working with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help build a solid case for the maximum pain and suffering in Florida is essential. Otherwise, you risk missing out on valuable compensation.
The skilled legal team at Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro has years of experience helping injured Florida victims. We understand what it takes to build a solid case for pain and suffering damages in Florida.
When you hire us to represent you, we’ll gather evidence, assess the extent of your injuries and financial losses, and negotiate with the insurance company.
Working with us increases your chances of obtaining a favorable pain and suffering settlement amount.
Pain and suffering damages are essential to personal injury compensation in Florida.
However, navigating the legal system and proving damages can be challenging, which is why it’s crucial to retain an experienced personal injury attorney to ensure the best possible outcome.
Please get in touch with Barrett Nonni Homola & Ferraro today to schedule a free, initial consultation to learn more.