Suffering from pain and mental anguish after an accident can be deeply challenging. Yet insurers may try denying claims for these “pain and suffering” damages, deeming them subjective or unsubstantiated. Thankfully, Florida law entitles injury victims to compensation for non-economic losses like pain and suffering, and Winston Law Firm can help you prove it.
With the right evidence and legal strategy, you can receive compensation for the pain, stress, and lifestyle limitations you now endure. Our Florida personal injury attorneys created this guide to address important issues regarding recording suffering, utilizing medical records, and using legal resources to validate these very real damages so you receive full compensation.
What Is Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Claim?
To know how to prove pain and suffering in a Florida personal injury case, you must know what it consists of from a legal standpoint. According to Florida Statute 768.81, pain and suffering include physical hurt and emotional distress resulting from an injury. Pain and suffering can derive from any of the following personal injury scenarios and more:
- Slip and fall accidents
- Auto accidents
- 18-Wheeler accidents
- Boating accidents
- Construction accidents
- Work injury
- Medical malpractice
- Motorcycle accidents
- Pedestrian accidents
- Bicycle accidents
The length of time that your condition persists does not affect your ability to collect compensation, as it can be temporary or a long-lasting impairment.
What Types of Damage Are Included Under Pain and Suffering?
Common types of damages that fall under the category of “pain and suffering” in personal injury claims include:
- Physical pain: This includes any ongoing physical discomfort, chronic pain, or bodily impairment resulting from an injury. Severe injuries often necessitate pain management therapy or medications that become part of claimed damages.
- Mental anguish: Mental distress like depression, anxiety, PTSD, grief, or emotional trauma stemming from an accident injury is claimed as pain and suffering. This can include therapy costs and treatment for resulting issues like insomnia or relationship strain.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: Injuries frequently impair victims’ ability to participate in activities that previously brought pleasure and fulfillment. Damages account for restrictions and lifestyle limitations that reduce quality of life.
- Disfigurement: Visible scarring, burn damage, or physical disability that reduces self-image and causes emotional injury qualifies for compensation. Severe scars or loss of limb function are common examples.
- Inconvenience: Daily impediments like mobility restrictions, transportation costs, and home or vehicle modifications, as well as reliance on others for routine tasks, factor into pain and suffering.
- Humiliation: Disfigurement, disability, or reliance on others can also cause social embarrassment and damage to reputation. Compensation may be sought for the resulting humiliation.
- Loss of companionship: For severe injuries, damage claims may include compensation for the loss of consortium for family and spousal intimacy, affection, and shared activities.
These monetary damages attempt to account for the diverse ways catastrophic injuries detrimentally impact victims’ lives. By looking at the full scope of harm, pain and suffering can be proven in your Florida case.
How Can a Victim Prove Pain and Suffering in Florida?
Proving pain and suffering in Florida requires proper documentation and the knowledge of a skilled personal injury attorney. Insurance providers typically look to minimize or invalidate your claim, so substantiating your case may consist of using various forms of evidence, such as:
Keeping a detailed record of how your injuries have impacted you through journal entries, photos, videos, or medical records is a solid way to validate your extent of suffering.
Be sure to include specific activities that you used to do and are no longer able to, previous medical records that show a clean bill of health, or videos of your inability to function the same.
Having friends, family, or even coworkers who witness your struggle can provide strong proof of your lifestyle limitations.
Medical experts can outline how your injuries will impact you long-term or give their opinions on how they have impacted your mental state while validating pain and suffering. Therapy notes, prescriptions, or even assistive devices or services are all things that can leverage compensatory damages to cover your hardship.
If injuries are not visible or documented, your probability of proving pain and suffering is greatly reduced in Florida. If assistance is needed in obtaining proof, seeking the legal counsel of a personal injury firm near you is advised.
How Does an Attorney Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages?
There is no set formula for calculating pain and suffering damages. However, some key factors personal injury lawyers use to arrive at reasonable compensation amounts include:
- The severity of the injury: Severe injuries and levels of pain warrant greater damages. Things like whether the injury is temporary or permanent are considered.
- Duration of suffering: Compensation increases the longer pain and impairment continue, especially into the future.
- Impact on lifestyle: Damages take into account how much a disability has limited normal activities.
- Emotional impacts: Your levels of mental anguish, embarrassment, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), etc., affect pain and suffering amounts.
- Age of victim: Younger victims have longer to endure impairment, justifying higher payouts.
- Medical treatment required: Damages account for invasive procedures, therapies, and the extent of care needed.
- Recovery prognosis: Poor outlooks for improvement or discharge from care increase justification for higher compensation.
- Plaintiff credibility: If a case goes to trial, jurors assess witnesses’ believability in assigning subjective pain and suffering values.
- Precedent and comparisons: Prior court verdicts in cases with similar injury profiles set benchmarks for expected compensation.
- Insurance policy limits: Damages cannot exceed the maximum liability coverage amounts of policies.
Ultimately, compensation for pain and suffering depends on your attorney’s ability to make subjectively persuasive arguments before adjusters, judges, and juries.
When Does Hiring a Lawyer Become Necessary?
The amount of money that you can expect for pain and suffering can vary based on the circumstances of your case and caps on collecting non-economic damages. However, our legal team will advise you of your options in a free consultation before working on your case.
If you are stuck or struggling with where to start with how to prove pain and suffering after sustaining injuries from an accident in Florida, contact the Winston Law Firm to begin with a complimentary case evaluation. We offer in-person or online sessions and will cover the costs needed to help win your case.