When you have suffered an injury, you may be left facing many difficulties. You are likely juggling medical appointments, personal challenges on the work and home front, insurance claims, and more, all while battling pain and suffering. Florida laws, however, can help you when you have the support of experienced lawyers.
Seeking the compensation you deserve can help alleviate these hardships and financial burdens. If you’ve been injured, you may be able to seek pain and suffering damages. This process can be less stressful with quality legal representation and an understanding of the ins and outs of pain and suffering from a legal standpoint.
What Is Pain and Suffering?
The pain and suffering definition is split into two different types: physical and mental. Both are defined by something greater than general discomfort but need not be life-threatening in nature.
Physical pain and suffering is the physical pain a person experiences as a result of their injuries. This pain includes all pain felt to date and the pain a person is likely to feel in the future. Common physical pain and suffering includes pain caused by:
- Back strain,
- Slipped disks,
- Neck injury,
- Muscle issues,
- Torn ligaments,
- Pulled muscles,
- Headaches and migraines,
- Nerve damage,
- Broken bones, and
- Injury to the face, teeth, and mouth.
On the other hand, mental pain and suffering is the mental anguish felt after suffering an injury. Common mental pain and suffering includes genuine pain induced by:
- Anxiety, and
- Emotional distress,
- Loss and grief, and
Mental pain and suffering can vary in severity from person to person. Like physical pain and suffering, this includes the mental pain and suffering an individual has experienced thus far and what they may experience in the future.
First Steps in a Pain and Suffering Florida Case
There are Florida laws that provide a guideline for analyzing pain and suffering claims. We explain that information in a bit. However, here are the first steps you should take if you are looking for information about pain and suffering in Florida and want to determine whether you have a case.
Get Medical Help
Get help for your physical and mental suffering as soon as you are able to. Making sure that you are receiving the care you need is the priority. This can be challenging as you are also managing so many other things, but it is necessary.
Keep All Records
Regarding medical help, keep records of every visit, every cost, and every action you had to take to get help (insurance issues, working through work employee assistance programs, etc.).
It is equally important to keep track of any interaction with law enforcement (police reports, etc.) and any other parties involved in the situation that led to your Florida pain and suffering incident.
While record-keeping is crucial, it is unnecessary to initiate contact with or respond personally to insurance companies. You should always have an attorney be your voice to protect your rights and interests.
While these actions can seem daunting, they are part of ensuring that you are cared for while also preparing yourself to be in the best legal position you can be in for a claim of pain and suffering in Florida.
Seek Legal Advice
The sooner you reach out to an established personal injury law firm, the sooner they can begin analyzing your situation, answering your questions, and determining whether you have a case.
Below we will explain some of the calculations and determinations regarding pain and suffering in our state. But please understand, contacting an experienced pain and suffering attorney and getting help for your pain are your priorities.
Can You Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida?
Damages for pain and suffering can be challenging to calculate because pain and suffering is so personal and subjective.
To calculate pain and suffering damages, the court takes many factors into account. Some of the details to consider include:
- Age of the plaintiff;
- The severity of the injury;
- Medical treatment and therapy the plaintiff has received;
- Whether there is a need for ongoing treatment and rehabilitation;
- Any preexisting conditions the plaintiff had; and
- The economic loss endured.
Some attorneys will utilize the “multiplier method” to calculate pain and suffering damages. With this method, the attorney multiplies the economic damages sought by a number, usually one to five.
For example, if the economic damages are $100,000, and the attorney uses a multiplier of three, they would claim the individual is entitled to $300,000 for pain and suffering.
Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida
There are two types of damages for personal injury cases: economic and non-economic. It is typically easy to calculate economic damages with the help of supporting documentation.
Pain and suffering is an example of non-economic damages.
Non-economic damages are not as easy to assign monetary value, but your personal injury attorney will gather all necessary information to calculate these damages.
While some states impose a damage cap, Florida generally does not.
There is no cap on the amount of pain and suffering damages awarded unless the lawsuit involves medical malpractice. In that case, there is a limit of $500,000 on non-economic damages.
How to Prove Your Damages
Attorneys use supporting documentation to prove damages. Examples of documents used to prove your pain and suffering damages include:
- Medical treatment records;
- Medication prescriptions; and
- Psychiatric records.
Aside from documentation, your attorney may also use testimony to prove damages.
Opinions from your medical or mental health providers can benefit your case. Your attorney may also seek opinions from medical experts.
Get an Opinion on Your Case
To reiterate, if you feel you may have a case, seek legal advice from a Florida personal injury attorney. An attorney will be able to review all relevant details of your situation and decide whether you have a claim. When in doubt, always consult with a qualified personal injury attorney.
Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon: The Best in Pensacola
Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon has been helping clients seek justice and fair compensation since 1913.
We pride ourselves on giving every client the personalized attention they deserve. Our team works hard to get results while building lasting relationships with clients.
If you have been injured as a result of the negligence of another, call Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon at 850-444-4878 for a free, no-risk case consultation to discuss any injuries you or your family have suffered. Contact us today, and let’s discuss your case.