If another party caused your injury, do not overlook your pain and suffering damages. These damages fall into the category of non-economic damages. They might be intangible losses, but Florida’s personal injury laws give individuals a legal claim for these damages, just like claims for financial losses.
At Payer Personal Injury Lawyers, our Orlando personal injury attorneys know how to calculate the value of pain and suffering damages to maximize your recovery for a personal injury case. Our attorneys also know how to use the evidence in your case to justify the maximum value for non-economic damages.
What Is the Value of My Pain and Suffering Damages in an Orlando Personal Injury Case?
Everyone suffers differently after a personal injury or accident. Therefore, placing a value on pain and suffering damages can be challenging. Florida does not have a statutory formula for calculating non-economic damages.
Instead, we must analyze the factors of the case to determine the level of harm the victim suffered because of their injuries. Factors used to determine pain and suffering include, but are not limited to:
- The injuries the victim sustained, including whether the injuries resulted in permanent disabilities or impairments
- The victim’s appearance before and after the injury (i.e., significant disfigurement or scarring)
- The type of medical care the person received, including whether they required extensive medical treatment or invasive procedures
- The duration of the person’s recovery period
- Whether the person can return to work after they recover from injuries and whether the injuries reduced their earning capacity
- How the victim’s injuries impacted their relationships with family members and friends
- The extent the injuries affect the person’s daily life, including restricting their everyday activities and/or prevent them from caring for themselves and family members
The insurance company for the at-fault party will downplay the impact of your injuries. It will offer a very low amount for pain and suffering damages. Talk with one of our lawyers to verify the amount you have been offered for your damages is fair, given your injuries and other factors.
Using the Multiplier Method To Calculate Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida
Most insurance companies, attorneys, and juries use one of two methods for determining the value of non-economic damages. The per diem method uses a daily amount to compensate the victim for their pain and suffering. The per diem is multiplied by the number of days between the injury date and when the person reaches maximum medical recovery.
The per diem method may be fair when the person does not suffer permanent injuries. However, for catastrophic injuries and permanent disabilities, the multiplier method can provide a more accurate value for pain and suffering damages.
With the multiplier method, a number is chosen based on the extent of the victim’s injuries and damages. We analyze factors like those listed above to choose a number between 1.5 and five (the multiplier). The multiplier increases as the extent of the injury and harm suffered by the victim increases.
For example, a minor injury that heals in a few months might have a multiplier of 1.5 or two. However, a catastrophic spinal cord injury that results in partial paralysis could result in a multiplier of four or five.
The equation to calculate pain and suffering damages is the multiplier times the amount of economic damages. For example, if the multiplier is three and your economic damages are $100,000, the value of non-economic damages would be $300,000.
The insurance company and at-fault party will choose a very low multiplier to undervalue your claim. An experienced Orlando personal injury attorney creates a compelling case to increase the multiplier based on the factors in your case.
Does Florida’s Contributory Fault Law Impact Pain and Suffering Damages?
Contributory fault decreases the amount of money you receive for a personal injury claim. According to Florida’s contributory fault law, your compensation for damages is reduced by your level of fault. It applies to all damages in a personal injury case, including pain and suffering damages.
Therefore, if you were 30% to blame for causing a car accident, your compensation for damages could be reduced by 30 percent. However, Florida recently changed its contributory fault laws.
The law now sets a 51% bar for recovery of damages. You cannot recover any money for a personal injury claim if you are 51% or more at fault for causing your injury.
Defining Pain and Suffering Damages for an Orlando Personal Injury Claim
Non-economic damages include several types of damages related to pain and suffering. Examples of pain and suffering damages include:
- Emotional distress and mental anguish, including fear, anxiety, PTSD, psychological conditions, and depression
- The physical pain caused by injuries and the medical treatments required to treat the injuries
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Permanent impairments and disabling conditions
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Diminished quality of life
Each person experiences injuries and accidents differently. Two people can suffer the same type of injury, but their pain and suffering can be vastly different. Therefore, our legal team works with you to gather evidence that shows how you suffered based on the specific factors relevant to your situation.
What Is the Statute of Limitations for Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida?
Your pain and suffering damages are part of your personal injury claim. The deadline to file a claim is based on the type of personal injury case.
Most negligence claims have a two-year statute of limitations as of March 24, 2023, including auto accidents. You could have four years to file your claim if you were injured before that date.
The statute of limitations for intentional torts and strict liability cases is four years. However, the deadline to file claims for wrongful death and medical malpractice is usually two years.
The statute of limitations can be difficult to calculate because of the recent change in the law. Exceptions and the parties involved in the case could also alter the deadline to file a claim.
Courts can dismiss cases filed after the statute of limitations expires. Therefore, prompt legal advice is the best way to protect your right to file a court claim.
Contact Our Orlando Personal Injury Lawyers for a Free Consultation
At Payer Personal Injury Lawyers, our legal team pursues all sources of compensation for your personal injury claim. We work to maximize recovery for your pain and suffering damages, as well as economic damages. Call us at (407) 648-1510 to schedule a free case evaluation with an experienced Orlando personal injury attorney to learn more.