Can you sue for pain and suffering in an accident or medical malpractice case in Florida? The short answer is yes. However, there are other factors that go into pain and suffering claims and the potential for monetary awards. These are things you need to take into consideration if you are thinking about bringing a pain and suffering lawsuit.
First of all, you need to understand what pain and suffering means in Florida. It is a type of monetary damage you can receive if you are in physical pain or emotional pain or both after being injured. Pain and suffering damages are separate from compensatory damages for medical bills incurred in your injury. This means that in some personal injury cases, you may be able to get two separate awards…one for your medical bills and lost wages, and one for pain and suffering. Sometimes, if your pain is considerable and ongoing or chronic and you have to take medication for it on a regular basis, your pain and suffering award may be more than your medical bills and lost wages award. The law in Florida recognizes how terrible it is to be in pain.
Pain and suffering damages in personal injury cases are often referred to as non-economic damages. This is because pain and suffering awards are monetary awards that are not meant to compensate you for money you paid out of pocket or owe. It is money meant to compensate you for non-economic damages, including pain and suffering, mental anguish and the loss of the ability to enjoy life.
The amount of money you may get in a pain and suffering award varies greatly from case to case. It all depends on how much physical and/or emotional pain you are in, how long it is expected to last, and the circumstances of your injury. While monetary awards to cover medical bills and lost wages are calculated precisely, based on actual sums you can write on paper, pain and suffering awards are based on a lot of intangible factors. Further, pain and suffering awards can compensate you for future pain and suffering, such as with an injury that is expected to hurt or have flare-ups of pain for decades down the road, or even for the rest of your life.
Of course, as with anything to do with the law there are limits on bringing pain and suffering claims in Florida. In fact, the area of awarding pain and suffering damages is a highly complex area of Florida law. In most cases, the injury must be significant to ask for pain and suffering damages. In the cases of automobile accidents, you may ask for such damages, but only under certain circumstances. These circumstances include injuries resulting in:
- Significant scarring or disfigurement; or
- A permanent injury; or
- The loss of a bodily function, such as bladder control, or something similar; or
- Accidental death, in which case, the closest next of kin of the victim may request pain and suffering damages for the loss of their loved one
Again, the amount of money you can get will vary by your case.
Attorney Eric Luckman is Board Certified in Civil Trial Law by the Florida Bar and has been serving accident and injury victims for more than 32 years. He earned the distinctive “AV” Martindale-Hubbell rating, an indicator of a lawyer’s “high ethical standards and professional ability,” and was named as a “Florida Super Lawyer” in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2014.
Attorney Luckman’s practice areas include personal injury, insurance and disability claims, long term care claims and insurance law. There are no legal fees in contingency fee cases and no fees at all unless your case is successfully resolved through negotiation or court award. For a complimentary case review, call Attorney Eric Luckman at (561) 737-3133.
Call Eric H. Luckman about your case and see if you can claim pain and suffering damages, and if so, how much your case may be worth.