James S. Curtis
What Constitutes Pain and Suffering in a Florida Personal Injury Claim?
When you hear about a big verdict, chances are that most of the amount awarded was for what people commonly refer to as “pain and suffering.” However, “pain and suffering” is technically not a category of damages; rather, it’s only a component of the non-economic damages that are recoverable in a personal injury case.
In Florida, as in most states, there are a number of categories of damages that are recoverable as non-economic damages. Evidence supporting most, if not all, of these categories can, in some cases, drastically increase the amount of recovery. The following is a brief discussion of each of these categories.
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is just as it sounds. It is the physical pain and mental anguish that someone suffers due to the injury or injuries they suffered in an accident. Evidence of pain and suffering can be found in medical records (most doctors routinely document a patient’s pain using a scale of 1-10), but the most important evidence will come from friends, co-workers, and/or family members. These types of witnesses are commonly referred to as “before and after” witnesses, as they provide testimony as to how the victim was before the accident, versus how they have changed after the accident. This type of testimony is vital to the success of a personal injury case.
Disability or physical impairment is the extent to which a person is unable to function after an injury. For example, in a catastrophic injury case, a person may end up bed-ridden, whereas in a case involving a shoulder injury, the person may not be able to fully utilize their arm and shoulder as they could before the accident. Doctors will often assign an impairment rating to document the extent of the impairment to the body.
The most common form of disfigurement is scarring, although there are others such as the loss of any physical body part. These are injuries that a jury is able to see for themselves.
When you’re injured in an accident, you may be required to undergo months if not years of medical treatment. This means many hours of traveling to and from appointments and even more hours of just sitting in doctor’s offices. This is inconvenience. Inconvenience is also having to go out of your way to perform basic daily tasks that you had no problem performing prior to the accident. These are just a few examples.
Loss of Capacity for the Enjoyment of Life
For many people, an injury can prevent a person from performing a hobby or other activity they enjoyed before an accident. For example, if you were an avid bowler prior to the accident but, because of your injury, you are now unable to bowl, you have lost the ability to perform an activity that you enjoyed. Such a loss is compensable under the law.
Consult a Qualified Florida Personal Injury Attorney to Ensure the Most Recovery for Your Injury
If you’ve been injured in a car accident, it is important that you consult with a qualified personal injury attorney. The attorneys at SouthShore Injury Attorneys handle only personal injury claims, and are experienced in representing personal injury cases throughout the State of Florida. If you’ve suffered injuries in a Florida car accident, contact SouthShore Injury Attorneys at (813) 419-3866 for a free consultation.
If you have questions about your Florida accident case, you can download our Free Reports:
5 Medical Mistakes That Will Destroy Your Personal Injury Case
which are available at our website, or you can click the link provided. You can also contact us at (813) 419-3866 to talk directly to a Ruskin Accident Attorney now.