If you have been hurt, you are likely seeking financial relief. You may face significant medical costs, damaged property, and lost time at work. At this point, it is not unusual to be thinking about how much you can receive from a personal injury lawsuit.
Determining how much your personal injury case is worth is a multifaceted question that requires careful consideration of the facts and Florida laws. Compensation may or may not be capped depending on what damages are sought.
Remember, each case is unique. All factors related to the case must be considered. Also, Florida has complex legal precedents and laws that must be followed. While these factors and laws impact what a judge or jury may award you if your case goes to court, they also affect approximately 95% of personal injury lawsuits that end in a settlement or another outcome.
Learn more about what you may run into when dealing with the damage caps system in the state here. Understanding this system can help you better prepare for the damages you may receive from your lawsuit.
What Damages Can You Pursue in a Florida Personal Injury Lawsuit
Before discussing what factors impact the compensation you receive when you file a personal injury claim, you need to know about the available damages. Also, knowing the laws and limitations of these damages will help you be better prepared for the outcome of your case.
The compensatory damages cover the accident’s direct costs. This includes property damage and medical costs for injury treatment, loss of physical function, deformations, and other direct injuries. It will also cover issues that are not necessarily tangible, like trauma.
Florida does not impose caps on compensatory damages. However, you must document the damages you plan to claim.
If you file a medical malpractice lawsuit, you will be limited on what non-economic damages you can recover. This law was created in 2003. The damages limited by this law included loss of companionship, pain, and suffering, and reduced quality of life.
However, in 2017, the court ruled the requirements created by the 2003 law reduced damage awards for those who experienced the most drastic injuries. Doctors and injury companies argued the caps were necessary to protect the industry; however, the court did not agree. The rules were only designed to help the medical profession and only targeted medical malpractice claims.
At this point, new requirements were established for non-economic damages in Florida personal injury lawsuits (including medical malpractice claims). Pursuing non-economic damages in all personal injury cases with no limits or caps is now possible.
No damage caps are applied to money awarded as punishment for perceived wrongdoing related to a personal injury claim. However, punitive damages are limited to three times the compensatory damages awarded or $500,000. If punitive damages exceed the $500,000 limit, juries are told to award the highest amount. In this aspect, the cap is not a strict limit. Instead, it keeps juries from setting punitive damages much higher than the compensatory ones.
Punitive damages are not commonly awarded in personal injury cases. The behavior of the at-fault party in the claim must be particularly egregious. An example would be a situation where a trucking company has a pattern of hiring drivers with poor driving histories.
In most personal injury cases, punitive damages are not pursued.
Factors That Impact Personal Injury Compensation
After being injured due to someone else’s negligence or wrongdoing, moving forward and regaining a sense of “normal” can seem impossible. However, by filing a personal injury claim, you can recover compensation for the accident-related costs you have incurred.
In Florida, several factors will impact how much compensation you are awarded. Some factors that play a role in determining this amount include the following:
The Long-Term Impact
Accidents can change your life in an instant. Unfortunately, this is often in the worst ways imaginable.
Some injuries will never fully heal, making it impossible for you to return to the job you had. Other injuries may leave you with emotional and mental scars that leave you struggling with PTSD. The long-term impact of the injuries you sustain is considered when determining compensation.
Mental and physical injuries often require ongoing treatment, surgeries, rehabilitation, medication, etc. This can all be extremely expensive, and some of these needs may continue for the rest of your life. These costs are also considered when determining a fair compensation amount.
Pain and Suffering
Most accidents lead to some level of pain and suffering. The extent of this will be considered in your case. Usually, your pain and suffering are based on the severity of your injuries, treatment needs, and their long-term impact on your life. While this aspect is subjective, you can count on your personal injury lawyer in Florida to advocate for you and negotiate to help you get the maximum compensation possible for your pain and suffering.
Understanding The Worth of Your Personal Injury Lawsuit
Floria courts and laws show that compensating accident victims for their losses is a priority. However, to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve, it is wise to work with an experienced personal injury attorney.
At Joe Horrox Law, we can review the facts of your case, gather evidence, and work to help you get the full compensation you are entitled to. The first step is to contact our office to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation.