After an accident resulting from a person’s negligence, a victim can recover compensation for damages. The most common are economic damages, such as medical bills, property damage, and loss of income.
It’s easy to calculate economic damages. For example, medical treatment costs will show on hospital bills, car repairs have receipts, and pay stubs show what the victim earned before the accident and what they missed from days off work.
However, that’s not all. Other damages, such as pain and suffering, affect a victim’s mental and emotional state. There are no bills or receipts to help calculate.
Estimating these damages after an accident is not impossible. The best next step is consulting a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer. With quality legal help, victims can seek compensation for their pain and suffering.
Boca Raton, Florida, Personal Injury Lawyer Explains Pain and Suffering in Legal Claims
Pain and suffering refer to an injury’s physical, emotional, and mental effects. It includes physical pain such as aches, soreness, numbness, and limitations on activities. This also includes all the emotional pain caused by an injury, such as fear, depression, and anxiety.
Factors that help determine pain and suffering in an accident case are:
- Age of victim
- General health condition of the victim, including pre-existing medical conditions
- The severity of accident injuries
- Type of medical treatment
- The current impact of the injury on the victim’s life and long-term consequences
- Damages, direct and indirect, of pain and suffering throughout a victim’s lifetime
Each accident case is unique, and the relevant factors will vary. Consulting with a legal professional to review a claim can increase your chances of fair compensation.
Different Methods for Determining Pain and Suffering
There are various ways to estimate pain and suffering. First, victims should consult a Boca Raton personal injury lawyer to review their case. The attorney will help calculate these damages.
There are two standard methods for determining pain and suffering after an accident.
This method is widely popular. Even though it estimates non-economic damages, it still considers the economic damages a victim suffers. Examples are medical bills, lost wages, and property damage.
The value of these quantifiable damages is multiplied by a number between 1 and 5. Then, the result is an estimate of pain and suffering.
For instance, if a person has medical bills of $7,000, vehicle repairs worth $13,000, and lost wages equaling $2,000 because of an accident, the total cost is $22,000.
Then, using three as the multiplier, the result is $22,000 x 3 = $66,000.
The estimated amount for pain and suffering is $66,000. Still, there may be cases where a victim suffers severe injuries or permanent disability. As a result, lawyers may use multipliers of 5.
Daily Rate or “Per Diem” Method
The daily rate or “per diem” (per day) calculates pain and suffering differently. This method estimates damages based on each day a victim suffers from accident injuries.
The victim’s work income commonly applies as the daily rate for calculation. Since the injuries prevent them from working, the person may be awarded the corresponding earnings for each day off work.
For instance, suppose a victim earns $200 every work day. Then, the person sustains accident injuries leading to 90 days (3 months) of pain. This period covers the course of medical treatment and rehabilitation. In this case, the estimate for pain and suffering is $200 x 90 = $18,000.
Aside from these abovementioned methods, there are others that the law court and insurance companies apply to calculate damages. One example is using a computer software program that evaluates several factors in an accident case to give a monetary value for damages. Ultimately, an injury attorney can help victims understand the methods that apply to their situation and fight for fair compensation.
Pain and Suffering and Other Non-Economic Damages
In an accident case, recovering costs for medical treatment, lost wages, and vehicle damages are expected. However, victims are often unaware that physical pain and emotional suffering also constitute damage.
These damages are referred to as non-economic. Since they are not easily quantifiable, proving these losses can be challenging in injury claims. Still, compensation for non-economic damages is possible with the help of a Boca Raton, Florida, personal injury attorney.
What Qualifies as Non-Economic Damages?
Generally, non-economic damages refer to the mental and emotional effects on a victim’s well-being. Apart from pain and suffering, injured people can recover damages for the following in an accident case:
- Reduced quality of life
- Loss of consortium
- Temporary or permanent disability
- Disfigurement and scarring
- Wrongful death
Proving Pain and Suffering in an Accident Case
In Florida, proving pain and suffering is possible, but you must obtain supporting evidence. This includes medical records, accident reports, etc.
Evidence that can be helpful in an injury claim for pain and suffering includes:
- A medical doctor’s opinion of the victim’s pain and suffering and the long-term impact of injuries on the person’s health
- Prescription history detailing all medication written for pain, anxiety, depression, or other related conditions
- Records of a victim’s day-to-day suffering and experiences after the accident, usually from personal testimony
- Testimony from spouse or family members relating how the accident injuries have affected the victim and family
- Opinion of mental health professionals about a victim’s current state of mind compared to similar patients or uninjured people
Having all this evidence is an excellent first step for crash victims. Still, establishing a legitimate claim can be difficult without the proper legal knowledge. That’s why accident attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers are ready to help injured victims (by appointment only). Hiring a trusted Boca Raton personal injury lawyer allows victims to seek recovery for non-economic and economic damages.
Florida Laws on Personal Injury Claims
Besides damages, state laws affect the amount of possible compensation in an injury claim. For instance, Florida operates under a comparative negligence rule.
A victim may be eligible to receive economic and non-economic damages but share fault to an extent. Therefore, this percentage of liability will be deducted from the claim value.
Additionally, there may be cases where injuries lead to very severe and permanent or long-term health conditions. As a result, most victims may find it challenging to establish a value for pain and suffering.
That’s why it’s vital to seek help from a legal professional. Understanding Florida laws as they apply to injury claims is one benefit of consulting an attorney.
Speak to a Qualified Personal Injury Lawyer in South Florida Today
When people sustain injuries in an accident, they can seek economic and non-economic damages from the party or parties responsible. In some cases, they can also ask for punitive damages, especially when the at-fault party was grossly or maliciously negligent.
Our attorneys at Frankl Kominsky Injury Lawyers have a unique approach to each case. We offer help in various personal injury claims, from car and motorcycle accidents to slip-and-fall situations and premises liability cases.
When injuries happen due to another person’s negligence, we can advise on the next best steps and guide clients throughout the process. Call us at (561) 800-8000 today to schedule a free initial consultation.