What is Your Injury Case Really Worth?
May 28, 2019 – Michael S. Herman, Jr., Esq.
In Florida, injury victims can recover compensatory damages from the person who negligently causes an accident. Compensatory damages are meant to compensate injury victims for different losses that are common after accidents such as:
- bodily injuries;
- medical bills and expenses;
- pain and suffering;
- mental anguish;
- loss of the capacity for the enjoyment of life;
- disability, disfigurement, scarring;
- lost wages, lost earning capacity.
Florida law allows injury victims to recover money for damages in the past and damages in the future. Future damages might include the inability to work in the future and the cost of medical care and surgeries in the future. Florida law allows future damages to be multiplied by an injury victim’s life expectancy, and lawyers in Florida routinely look to admit the Social Security Administration Actuarial Tables to determine the number of years they can ask a jury to multiply by a yearly future damages amount in order to come up with an injury victim’s full future damages claim. Past damages, on the other hand, can include the lost wages, medical bills and pain and suffering already incurred by an injury victim by the time he or she gets to trial by jury.
In Florida, injury victims’ damages are classified as economic damages or non-economic damages.
Economic damages have a clear dollar value, usually because there is a bill or monetary figure associated with them. Examples of economic damages include medical bills and lost wages.
Non-economic damages include things that are harder to put a dollar value on such as pain and suffering and mental anguish. Injury victims have a constitutional right to have their economic and non-economic damages decided by a fair and just jury of their peers. Juries hear testimony regarding a person’s physical limitations and the emotional effects of an injury from the injury victim and their friends or family members. They hear about painful medical procedures the injury victim endured, the amount of the medical bills and the circumstances of the accident. The evidence helps a jury determine how much to assign for non-economic damages.
Florida law makes recovering non-economic damages after a car accident especially hard. Florida Statute 627.737 states that:
“(2) In any action of tort brought against the owner, registrant, operator, or occupant of a motor vehicle with respect to which security has been provided as required by ss. 627.730-627.7405, or against any person or organization legally responsible for her or his acts or omissions, a plaintiff may recover damages in tort for pain, suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience because of bodily injury, sickness, or disease arising out of the ownership, maintenance, operation, or use of such motor vehicle only in the event that the injury or disease consists in whole or in part of: (a) Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function. (b) Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability, other than scarring or disfigurement. (c) Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement. (d) Death.”
This specific law does not apply to non-auto accident cases involving injury such as slip-and-falls, dog bites and negligent security cases. However, permanent injuries are still generally valued higher than injuries that completely resolve with no lasting effects due to the possibility of recovering future damages for permanent injuries in all cases.
Determining the proper value for any injury case requires years of experience and knowledge of prior jury verdicts. At Britto & Herman, our injury lawyers understand that to win, the insurance company needs to see you as an individual and not as a number.
How much your injury case is worth can only be determined after an experienced lawyer carefully evaluates all the factors involved in your case. This means carefully considering all of the factors that are personal to you when evaluating what your injury case is really worth.
Injured in a car accident or slip, trip and fall and want to know what your injury case is really worth? Call the lawyers at Britto & Herman today for a free case evaluation. Our injury lawyers are available 24/7.
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