Florida Personal Injury Claims: What Kinds of Damages Can You Sue for?

By | May 9, 2019

When it comes to personal injury lawsuits in Florida, compensation usually falls into two common categories:

  1. punitive
  2. compensatory

What are Punitive damages?

These damages are truly rare. These types of damages are awarded when the behavior of the defendant is found to be reprehensible. Punitive damages are believed to be caused by deliberate acts generally. Here is where the individuals responsible are required to pay you.

What are Compensatory damages?

These damages are too common. These damages are involved in paying you back for some kind of harm that you have suffered as a result of the accident. In certain cases, this harm can be quantified. However, in other cases, the value of these damages can be open to debate.

You can be awarded medical bills in the form of compensatory damages. Thus, you can get compensation for medical treatment you receive. This includes the expense of pre-death medical care in wrongful death cases and the estimated cost of future medical care.

In case you are supposed to receive ongoing care, the negligent party or parties can be held responsible for the cost of future care.

What are related household expenses?

In case you are hurt, you might not be able to take care of daily household duties. You might have to appoint someone else to do the household work and it will cost you something! As per Florida law, these costs can be held responsible for covering the cost of any changes in plans you have to make.

Compensation for the loss of earnings
If you are receiving ongoing medical treatment, you might miss out on the monthly wages! The party-at-fault can be held liable for this loss of money.

Compensation for the loss of future earnings
Due to traumatic brain injuries, your entire career might be at stake! You might not be able to avail of various career-related opportunities. The other party can be made to pay for all of the earnings that you could have made all through your career if they had never hurt you.

Compensation for Pain and suffering
It is likely for you to have endured pain and suffering due to the accident. The actions of the at-fault party have caused these non-monetary damages. You can certainly ask for getting compensation here.

Compensation for Mental anguish
You might have to endure various potential mental issues as a result of a severe accident caused by the other party. Some of the common mental issues include PTSD, stress, and fear. You might never be able to fully recover from these issues. So, you can sue to get compensation for these issues.

What are the Limitations of a Legal Malpractice Lawsuit?

Certainly, you cannot file for punitive damages in a legal malpractice lawsuit. Also, you will not be able to sue to pay the fees of your legal malpractice lawyer. But, you can seek damages for any new attorney fees that were required to rectify the previous situation that was created by the original lawyer’s behavior.

You will not be able to sue because you do not agree with the outcome of your case. In spite of your attorney performing well, you might not get the satisfactory results. A legitimate legal malpractice suit will involve misconduct or negligence on the part of your attorney.

In order to make you win your case, your new attorney should prove certain things:

  • The attorney was obliged to owe you a duty of service.
  • The attorney made a breach in their duty, either by negligence or misconduct.
  • This breach made you suffer financial harm.
  • You went through a good deal of financial loss as a result of the breach.

What are ‘No Fault’ and ‘Pure Comparative Negligence’ Rules?

Florida is one of those few states that have “no-fault” car insurance and accident compensation laws. Thus, when accidents occur in Florida, you will have to file a claim with your own insurance, as per “personal injury protection (PIP)” coverage. This insurance is meant for your injuries resulting from an accident.

In case the injuries are permanent or truly serious, you can file a claim against the other driver. You can even go ahead and file a lawsuit. In case you are making a claim for damage to your car, “no-fault” does is not applicable. You can file a claim with the other driver’s insurance.

Florida is a “pure comparative negligence” state when it comes to determining fault. In case your case goes to trial, the judge or jury will compare fault. You might have to calculate percentages of fault for each driver. Also, the damage awards might be lowered.

Which are the limits on Damages?

Florida has a bunch of limitations on car accident compensation. When personal injury claims involve permanent injuries, there is a certain time limit for filing a legal case. This is called the statute of limitations. In the state of Florida, you have four years from the day of the accident to file a lawsuit.

How Are Pain and Suffering Damages Measured?

In general, damages for pain and suffering are difficult to measure. After all, it is pretty subjective. Usually, courts instruct juries to use their best judgment in deciding how much pain and suffering damages to award a plaintiff. Most juries use a number of factors to assign value to these types of damages.

Here are some of the top factors courts consider at the time of determining damages for pain and suffering:

  • Nature of the injury
  • Potential for relevant consequences
  • Age of the injured person
  • Whether the injured had certain conditions that were there from before
  • Amount of economic loss suffered

In order to determine the value of pain and suffering, some attorneys employ a multiplier method. In this method, the personal injury lawyer multiplies the economic damages by a certain number, usually between one and five.

What are Florida’s Limits on Damages?

Florida does not have a cap on damages for pain and suffering. However, it does limit such awards to $500,000 for medical malpractice claims.

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