After an accident and resulting injuries, you may experience physical and emotional pain as well as financial distress. While you can seek compensation for the economic losses associated with your accident, you may also be entitled to a pain and suffering settlement. Grossman Attorneys at Law is ready to help.
What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?
If you are the victim of an accident, you may be entitled to damages. Damages fall into two categories: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are those directly related to the accident and injuries, including medical expenses and lost wages. Non-economic damages, while still related to the accident, are slightly more difficult to assign a monetary value to because they are less tangible.
In other words, there are no invoices or receipts to show the exact value of non-economic losses. Pain and suffering are one example of non-economic damages.
These damages are meant to compensate an injured individual for going through the “pain and suffering” they would not have had to endure but for the negligent party’s actions. There is no exact calculation to decide how much a person may receive. Courts will typically weigh all of the presented information and evidence to decide what is just.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering is a broad concept. Fortunately, Florida Statute 627.737 provides guidelines for what is considered pain and suffering. Under this statute, Florida allows an injured party to seek pain and suffering compensation when there is:
- A significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
- A permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement;
- Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement; or
If your case includes any of the above after suffering an injury, you may consider suing for pain and suffering. Do not hesitate to consult with the best personal injury law firm in Boca Raton, FL as soon as possible.
Calculating Pain and Suffering Damages
There is no exact calculation to determine the appropriate amount of pain and suffering damages. Therefore, judges, juries, and insurance companies must rely on the evidence and details of the case. When calculating pain and suffering compensation, the following considerations come into play:
- The victim’s injuries and the severity;
- The impact these injuries are likely to make on the victim’s life;
- The typical impact experienced by others in a similar situation;
- The ability to work and lost wages;
- Overall health and how much the victim is likely to fully heal; and
- Medical treatments, present and future.
These and other details are examined when determining a fair amount of pain and suffering compensation. Additionally, two methods further help calculate these damages: the multiplier method and the per diem method.
The multiplier method involves taking a number, usually 1.5 to 5, and multiplying the victim’s actual economic losses by this number.
So, for example, if the victim’s economic loss was $30,000 and the chosen multiplier was 3, the pain and suffering damages would give the victim an additional $90,000. The appropriate multiplier depends on the severity of the case.
Per Diem Method
The per diem method involves giving every day the victim has suffered a monetary value, from the date of the accident to the day the victim reaches “maximum medical improvement,” or MMI.
When a victim has reached MMI, this means they have either completely healed or have reached a point where they will not heal any further. The victim’s doctor will determine when the victim reaches MMI.
Proving Pain and Suffering to Receive Compensation
Proving pain and suffering can be challenging. It is unlike economic damages, such as medical expenses, where receipts can help prove the exact financial loss. To prove pain and suffering, the court will consider the following:
- Medical records;
- Medical expert testimony;
- Testimony from those closest to the victim;
- Testimony from the victim; and
- Documentation proving life-altering conditions.
Because settlements for pain and suffering can be difficult, it is imperative you consult with a personal injury lawyer. Your attorney will know how to handle your claim and get you the fairest compensation.
Let a Florida Personal Injury Attorney Help You
Grossman Attorneys at Law is dedicated to helping you seek the recovery you deserve. We are completely committed to providing our clients with exceptional legal representation in hopes of getting the best possible outcome.
We fully understand the difficulty an accident and injuries can bring about, and we are ready to help get you on the road to recovery. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your case.