Injuries are an unfortunate reality that some people face. Often these cause varying degrees of pain and suffering, and in certain cases, these also come with great financial burdens. Many affected by these find themselves in a position where compensation simply isn’t enough to cover the cost of treating their sustained injuries or other causes of suffering, making it all the more difficult to cope. Fortunately, there are ways to claim pain and suffering damages if the qualifications are met.
Here’s a guide on how pain and suffering are defined in Florida and how damages are calculated, proved, and claimed. Being prepared for any scenario should you ever experience pain and suffering from an entity or individual is essential in claiming support given the damages caused.
Defining Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering can be further defined in two categories, which are physical and mental.
Physical pain and suffering are quite straightforward; it includes any pain that is currently being felt by a person, and the pain that they may experience in the future. It is also important to consider the mental aspect of pain and suffering following an injury, which considers feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, and emotional distress.
The degree of mental pain and suffering may vary between individuals, with some feeling more intense levels of anxiety and emotional distress more frequently than others. Like the physical aspect, mental pain and suffering include present experiences and any future pain and suffering that can be anticipated from it.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
Given that pain and suffering are subjective and vary from person to person, calculating the appropriate amount of damages caused by these circumstances can be tricky. A jury considers many factors, including the age of the plaintiff and the severity of the injury. It will also look at any treatments and rehabilitation that the plaintiff has already received so far and whether this should be continued. Preexisting conditions that may have contributed to the pain and suffering will also be taken into account and the economic loss that the individual suffered due to such injuries.
Attorneys may use the multiplier method to calculate how much an individual is entitled to as a result of pain and suffering damages. They do this by taking the plaintiff’s economic loss and multiplying it with a number ranging from one to five, depending on the severity of the injuries and how long recovery will take. For instance, if the economic loss or damage amounted to $100,000, an attorney might assess the level of damage to be a 4 out of 5 to claim that the individual is entitled to pain and suffering damages worth $400,000.
Economic and Non-Economic Damages
In the case of personal injury, two types of damages are considered: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are usually easier to calculate given that supporting documents are provided, while non-economic damages may be difficult to assign a value. Pain and suffering are examples of the latter, so getting the right attorney’s help is crucial to collect all pertinent information to calculate these damages as accurately as possible.
It’s important to note that there is no damage cap imposed in Florida. The amount of pain and suffering damages awarded to a plaintiff will depend entirely on the lawsuit’s outcome.
Proving and Claiming Damages
Providing the necessary documentation is key to support your claim for pain and suffering damages. These can include, but are not limited to, medical treatment records and prescriptions, and other medical records. Testimony can also be used in court to prove the damages, especially when these are opinions provided by medical or healthcare providers. Your attorney may also ask for second opinions and the advice of medical experts other than your attending physician or psychologist.
The pain and suffering resulting from injury can be a lifelong affliction, and coping with the additional financial responsibility can be difficult, to say the least. Navigating this situation on your own can be overwhelming and confusing, especially when it comes to figuring out how much you can claim. By having the right attorney by your side, you have a better chance of providing the right supporting evidence and testimonials to secure the pain and suffering damage claims that you should be eligible for.
Here at the Law Offices of Harris Guidi Rosner, P.A., you can trust our attorneys to represent your interests with your legal and emotional needs well in mind. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation.
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