If you’ve been injured in an accident in Florida – whether it is a slip and fall accident, car accident, or any other personal injury accident – you can always pursue damages from the negligent party. Once the defendant has been confirmed to be at-fault, you will have to prove your losses in terms of measurable items like medical bills, and non-measurable claims like pain, suffering, and mental anguish. In Florida, your personal injury claim will cover both economic and non-economic damages. However, understanding how much to request for non-economic damages is difficult because there’s usually no receipts or bills. However, an Orlando personal injury attorney can help you quantify your pain and suffering damages.

What Are Pain and Suffering Damages?

Although complex, the Florida law allows you to ask the jury to compensate you for any bodily harm caused by a defendant’s negligence, including compensation for any disfigurement, embarrassment, depression, loss of capacity to enjoy life, aches, and shortening of life. These are financial compensations for having to endure things you wouldn’t have experienced if it wasn’t for the accident. For a minor incident, you would be compensated for the inconvenience. But if it was a significant accident, the compensation covers your suffering and agony. For instance, your medical bills may be paid, but this does not compensate you for never being able to bathe yourself again.

Is There a Standard I Should Meet?

You can receive compensation for pain and suffering as long as you meet at least one of these requirements:
  • Disfigurement or significant and permanent scarring;
  • Substantial and permanent impairment of a vital physical function; or
  • Existence of a permanent injury which is within a fair degree of medical probability – which is not scarring or disfigurement

How Is Pain and Suffering Proven?

The best proof for your pain and suffering is your medical bills and records. Your medical records could include your prescription history for drugs meant to alleviate your pain, anxiety, or depression. Besides, you can use photos if you had severe injuries as a testimony of your pain and suffering. A video that shows your surgery can also be used to prove pain and suffering, especially if a doctor inserted an object into your body. If your Florida personal injury claim reaches the lawsuit level, your testimony under oath may also be used. Your doctor will record your pain level at every medical visit, and this will be examined by the defense attorney to see whether you’re stretching your pain and suffering level. Recounting your day-to-day suffering before the jury can have a great impact on your case. Your spouse or a close relative could also testify about how the injury has affected your life. Principally, personal injury attorneys in Florida have the resources and are mostly conversant with medical and economic matters to build a strong PI case.

How Is Pain and Suffering Calculated in Florida?

The fundamental legal issues might cause challenges while calculating how much you’re entitled to receive for pain and suffering. However, there are different calculation approaches, including:

General Factors

Settlement discussions will consider factors such as:
  • The severity and nature of your injuries. More severe injuries fetch more pain and suffering compensation.
  • The recovery period. Will it take a few weeks, months, or several years to heal? The longer the recovery period, the higher the compensation.
  • Required medical care. Some injuries require additional surgeries or even home modifications. Costlier and intense treatment plans raise the value of your pain and suffering damages.

The Multiplier

Many insurance companies use a documented formula to put a value on your pain and suffering. The insurer will add all economic costs and multiply it by a “severity” multiplier to arrive at a pain and suffering figure. This multiplier is a number ranging from 1-5 and will be determined by the severity of your injuries.

Is There an Average Settlement Amount for Pain and Suffering?

Trying to find the average pain and suffering settlement amount in Florida can be frustrating as there’s not much information about it. You won’t find accurate data, mostly because each personal injury case is unique. You might find specific amounts mentioned online, but there is a high likelihood that those figures will have no relevance to your claim.

Is There a Cap to How Much I Can Receive?

There is no limit to how much money you can collect as compensation for pain and suffering. In 2017, the Florida Supreme Court determined that caps are unconstitutional. It ruled that victims should be allowed to recover the full amount of their losses even if the figure is exceptionally high due to severe pain and suffering.

Examples of Injuries That Receive Compensation for Pain and Suffering

If you are injured in an accident, you may receive pain and suffering benefits if you have one of these:
  • Broken bones
  • Scarring
  • Aches or whiplash
  • Incapacitation
  • Limitation on what you can do after the injury

Does a Workers’ Comp Claim Pay for Pain and Suffering?

If you sustained a work-related injury in Florida, you might be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits such as medical benefits, lost wages, and death benefits. However, you do not qualify to receive pain and suffering benefits under the workers’ comp system.

A Personal Injury Lawyer to Help You Claim Your Pain and Suffering Damages

As an accident victim, your top priority should be recovering and coping with your new normal. You should not be worrying whether you filed a valid claim or if your personal injury claim also covers pain and suffering. Working hand in hand with a Florida accident attorney helps you benefit from the knowledge and experience of the lawyer and the law firm. Your lawyer will assess your case details and collect evidence that will show negligence and prove liability. Let a lawyer fight with the insurance company on the formula and amount of your pain and suffering damages. Talk to a personal injury lawyer to ensure you get the compensation for your injuries.