Getting into a car accident in Florida can result in a long list of costly damages: medical bills, repair costs, lost wages, car rental costs, and maybe even pain and suffering. But while most of the items on that list can be evidenced by providing bills, invoices, estimates, and paystubs, how, exactly, can a person prove how much their pain and suffering is worth?
How are Pain and Suffering Damages Calculated After a Car Accident in Florida?
If you’ve been involved in a car accident that was caused by another person, you can file a suit against the at-fault party for negligence. Florida law specifically states that in a negligence action, a person can claim non-economic damages. These include pain and suffering. If you were partly at fault for the accident, you can still claim pain and suffering; however, the amount awarded would be reduced in accordance with your degree of fault. (For example, if you were 50% at fault for the accident and are claiming $100,000 in non-economic damages, you would only be able to recover $50,000).
Now, what, specifically, can you claim as part of your pain and suffering? Typically, you can include any of the following:
- Physical pain experienced during recovery from a serious accident
- Loss of capacity to enjoy life due to disability
- Ensuing fear, PTSD, depression, or anxiety as a result of the accident
- Embarrassment or humiliation due to disfigurement
There is no specific standard to calculate an exact amount, so it is up to you and your attorney to showcase how mental anguish has affected your life. Courts will usually take into account factors such as the severity of the injuries, the length of recovery, the prognosis of medical conditions, and the impact on a person’s life. This can include an inability to be independent, take care of oneself, partake in household chores, raise kids, go to work, and even have sexual relations.
Since pain is subjective, having testimony or written opinions from doctors and mental health professionals would strengthen your case.
It’s also crucial to keep in mind that Florida law specifically limits claims for mental anguish to people who have suffered permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability.
Call Clark Law if You’ve Been in a Car Accident in Tampa Bay
There are many factors that influence the outcome of a car accident claim. If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident, call us at (855) 680-4911 or schedule a free consultation. At Clark Law, we have experienced attorneys who regularly represent clients who were involved in a motor vehicle accident, and we can help you determine the best next step.
Disclaimer: This blog is for informational purposes only and does not create an attorney/client relationship.