When you’ve suffered serious injuries in an accident, you may face various challenges that you’re probably not prepared for. You may be juggling doctor appointments, work issues (if you can work at all), personal issues, and your personal injury claim, all while experiencing pain and suffering.
Recovering the financial compensation,you are owed can greatly relieve these money troubles and the overwhelming emotional burdens you’re experiencing or may have to endure in the future. Fortunately, Florida law allows injury victims to recover pain and suffering damages, along with medical expenses, lost income, and property damage, from the at-fault party.
What Exactly is Pain and Suffering?
Pain and suffering damages refer to the physical, mental, or emotional pain that a victim experiences after an accident. Physical suffering and pain is the actual pain injured victims experience due to their injuries. This can include not only your present and past pain and suffering, but also that you may have to endure in the future. The most common injuries that cause physical suffering and pain can include:
- Back injuries
- Torn ligaments
- Deep bruises
- Traumatic brain injuries
- Multiple broken bones
- Nerve damage
- Migraines and headaches
- Facial injuries
- Spinal cord damage
- Chronic pain
- Traumatic amputation
- Severe lacerations
On the other hand, mental and emotional pain and suffering include anguish and distress injury victims feel because of their injuries. This kind of suffering typically stems from fear, anger, anxiety, depression, sleep disturbances, PTSD, loss of companionship, embarrassment, and humiliation, among others. For example, it is not uncommon for our car accident clients to be fearful of driving for a period after their accident.
Pain and suffering damages will vary in severity from one injury victim to another. There is no exact equation for measuring such damages, but the Florida Standard Jury Instructions states that the amount should be fair and just in the light of all the evidence. In most cases, however, the compensation for these damages can be significant, especially if the victim suffers permanent injuries or disabilities.
Attorney Mike Hancock explains what you are entitled to recover in a personal injury case.
What You Should Know About Pain and Suffering Damages in FloridaCar Accident Claims
Because Florida follows the no-fault auto insurance system, people injured in car accidents must first look to their own PIP auto insurance. PIP pays 80% of medical expenses and 60% of lost wages, up to the limit of $10,000.00. Only if you have suffered a “permanent injury” can you then step out of PIP and seek the larger damages against the insurance company for the at-fault party, which includes pain and suffering.
Florida Statutes 627.737 specifies four types of injuries that qualify for stepping outside of PIP:
- An injury that is permanent.
- Significant and irreversible scarring or disfigurement.
- Significant permanent loss of a bodily function.
The amount that might be claimed for pain and suffering is directly proportional to the nature and extent of your injuries. If you have suffered a permanent injury, as defined under Florida law, you can pursue pain and suffering damages from the at-fault party, in addition to your no-fault insurance claim.
Speak to Our Top Tampa Injury Lawyers Today
If you or a loved one is enduring pain and suffering after a car accident, call Hancock Injury Attorneys at 813-915-1110 to have your questions answered by one of our attorneys. You can also get in touch with our top Tampa personal injury lawyers online to learn more about your rights to compensation, including pain and suffering damages. Our Tampa personal injury attorneys can also help you file a wrongful death claim if you lost a loved one in an accident.