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Damages and Compensation in Personal Injury Lawsuits

If you suffer injuries due to the negligence of another party, you may be entitled to compensation to help you recover from damages incurred as a result of the injuries. In Florida, personal injury lawsuits seek to have the defendant compensate the victim for injuries and for other damages related to the negligence.

Personal injury lawsuits could result from a wide range of scenarios, including:

  • Accidents including car, truck, pedestrian, train, and bicycle accidents among others
  • Slip-and-fall accidents
  • Dog bites
  • Medical Malpractice
  • Product Liability

 

Types of Damages

To be able to recover damages in a personal injury lawsuit, you need to prove a few factors. First, it needs to be established that the party at fault owed you a duty of care. Second, you must also prove that the defendant breached their duty of care. Lastly, you have to prove that the defendant’s failure to exercise a duty of care led to the accident which caused your injuries. The major types of damages that you can recover in personal injury lawsuits are:

  • Economic Damages
  • Non-Economic Damages
  • Punitive Damages

 

Economic Damages

Economic damages refer to losses that are easy to express in monetary or financial terms. Some of the economic damages that you may recover with the help of your attorney include:

 

Medical Expenses

This is compensation for the cost incurred in seeking treatment for your injuries. For example, if you get involved in a car accident, you may suffer extensive injuries that require months of treatment. When considering medical expenses, you should not just focus on the current medical expenses but also the future medical costs. For instance, you may require physiotherapy treatment after completing the initial treatment. You are also entitled to compensation for costs of medication.

 

Lost Wages

This would be a compensation for the loss of income, such as employment income that you would have earned if you had not sustained injuries. You may not have the capacity to engage in economic activities to generate income due to the injuries. The extent of lost wages compensation will depend on your earning rate before the accident and the total period spent away from work.

 

Loss of Earning Capacity

This is compensation for your inability to continue earning money in the future. For instance, if you suffer permanent disability or disfigurement, you may not be able to resume work. While calculating your loss of earning capacity, the court may consider your life expectancy and the remaining period to retirement.

 

Property Damages

You could also seek compensation for property damage, including vehicle damage. You can also claim damages for other properties like laptops and phones damaged in the accident.

 

Non-Economic Damages

Unlike economic damages that are easy to express in monetary terms, non-economic damages mainly depend on the judge’s discretion. Some of the non-economic damages that you can claim in a personal injury lawsuit are:

  • Pain and Suffering – The compensation for pain and suffering will depend on how traumatic the incident or accident leading to the injuries was.
  • Mental Anguish – You may experience immense mental anguish after undergoing a traumatic experience and suffering injuries. Signs of mental anguish include anxiety, insomnia, and depression.
  • Loss of Enjoyment in Life – After sustaining injuries in an accident, you may no longer be able to participate in your hobbies or other fun activities. You could get compensation for this loss.
  • Loss of Consortium – The victim’s spouse or registered domestic partner seeks compensation for loss of consortium. This includes the loss of intimacy and companionship with the victim after the accident.

 

Punitive Damages

The court may award punitive damages in certain personal injury lawsuits. These damages apply if the judge feels that the party at fault was extremely negligent and needs punishment above the standard damages awarded. According to Florida law, punitive damages apply if the defendant intentionally or recklessly inflicted damages on the victim or engaged in extremely reckless behavior.

Damages like lost wages and property damages are often easy to calculate. However, non-economic damages like loss of consortium are not always easy to calculate. You will need the help of an experienced personal injury attorney to determine the extent of non-economic damages. In most cases, defendants are unwilling to accept fault. However, an attorney can help you to navigate the complexities of Florida’s personal injury law. At Shrader Law, PLLC, our experienced personal injury attorneys will evaluate your case and help you seek the compensation you deserve.

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