How Is the Value of Pain and Suffering Calculated in Florida
After suffering a personal injury in Florida, you might qualify to receive different types of damages. You need to understand the different types of damages so that you know what you are owed. In most cases, people qualify for economic/special damages and non-economic/general damages. Examples of economic/special damages include lost wages and medical expenses. Calculating lost wages, medical bills, and other economic damages are relatively simple. On the other hand, calculating the value of general damages such as pain and suffering can be complicated.
Generally, economic damages are relatively easy to calculate because of the presence of bills and receipts.
However, even though calculating pain and suffering can be complicated, determining a fair amount of compensation is possible. With strong evidence, you stand a chance of persuading the court to award you compensation for pain and suffering. For example, your doctor could provide a written opinion of the injury’s impact on your life.
After the court considers several factors, including going through the evidence, several methods can then be used to calculate the amount you should receive for pain and suffering.
The Meaning of Pain and Suffering
After sustaining an injury, people suffer from both emotional and physical stress. The stress that you go through after being injured in an accident is known as pain and suffering. You could physically experience things such as body aches, and some of your body parts could face some limitations. Under emotional stress, you could experience something like anxiety.
Pain and suffering qualify as non-economic (general) damage because it is impossible to place an exact monetary value on such damage.
Because of how hard it is to place a value on pain and suffering, some courts are wary of these claims. People sometimes exaggerate their pain and suffering. Nonetheless, Florida courts consider several factors, together with the evidence provided to determine whether a petitioner should be awarded compensation for pain and suffering.
Factors Considered During the Calculation of Pain and Suffering
When calculating the value of pain and suffering, Florida courts consider several factors. Some of the factors that courts consider include;
- The severity of injuries
- Recovery period
- Impact of injuries on people’s lives
- Type of medical treatment received/required
The more severe an injury, the more pain and suffering compensation a person is likely to receive. A more extended recovery period could mean greater payment. A costly and intense treatment plan could also get you a substantial compensation amount. Additionally, if the injury left you disabled or took a heavy toll on your life, you could receive more compensation than someone who suffered an injury that did not affect how they live their lives.
Evidence Used To Prove Pain and Suffering
Florida courts accept different types of evidence when handling pain and suffering claims. As a claimant, you should strive to provide as much evidence as possible to strengthen your case. Some of the evidence that Florida courts accept, which you can use to prove pain and suffering include;
- Testimonies from family members explaining the impact of the injury on the family. A spouse is an example of a family member who can testify.
- Your testimony.
- Your doctor’s written opinion on how the injury has caused you pain and suffering.
- Any evidence of the use of prescription drugs to reduce anxiety or depression.
- A professional’s opinion of your state of mind.
When testifying, it is crucial to provide objective testimonies of what a claimant could do before the accident and what they can no longer do.
Methods of Calculating the Value of Pain and Suffering
Attorneys use different methods to determine the value of a claimant’s pain and suffering. Your attorney will know the best method to use depending on the specifics of your case.
Nonetheless, the multiplier method is one of the most common ways of calculating the value of pain and suffering. The technique involves taking the value of economic damages and multiplying it with a multiplier (generally a number between 1 and 5.) Your attorney will select a number depending on the severity of your injury and then try to convince the court to award you the compensation. A more severe injury might see your economic damages multiplied by 4 or 5.
Contact a Naples and Southwest Florida Personal Injury Attorney Today
To increase your chances of obtaining compensation for the pain and suffering you are enduring because of an injury you sustained from an accident that happened because of another person’s negligence, you need to work with a qualified Naples personal injury attorney. Contact The Law Office of Marc L. Shapiro, P.A., today at 239-649-8050 to receive legal help.