January 21, 2022 | Firm News
When you file a personal injury lawsuit in Florida, you need to produce evidence that another party caused your injury. Part of this process is presenting proof of your damages. If you must show economic losses, such as medical expenses or lost wages, our Florida personal injury attorneys have bills and receipts to establish your losses. But how does a plaintiff demonstrate pain and suffering?
It is not uncommon for an injured person’s pain and suffering compensation to eclipse their damages for monetary losses. However, these intangible damages are challenging to calculate and prove. Our experienced Florida attorneys will turn to various types of evidence, including expert opinions, medical records, and testimony from friends and family members, to establish the extent of your pain and suffering.
Personal injury lawsuits are often complicated and challenging. South Florida Law, PLLC is committed to vigorously advocating for our clients and fighting for the compensation they deserve. Part of that dedication includes focusing on proving physical and mental harm. Call our office at (954) 932-7877 to set up a free appointment.
When someone files a personal injury case in Florida, the plaintiff is seeking financial compensation for their injuries and monetary losses. In legal terms, the compensation for these losses is known as “damages.” In most cases, two types of damages are available: economic and non-economic damages.
Economic damages are those losses a plaintiff suffers that are easily reduced to a specific dollar amount, such as medical bills, parking fees, and lost income. Our Miami personal injury attorneys will use invoices, receipts, statements, and other documentation to prove a plaintiff’s economic losses. However, proving non-economic damages is a challenge.
Non-economic damages are usually referred to as pain and suffering. These damages encompass a wide range of various conditions and harm, such as emotional distress, physical pain, and mental anguish. Also included under the category of pain and suffering are aches, scarring, anxiety, insomnia, depression, loss of enjoyment of life, and limitations on the plaintiff’s daily activities.
As you could imagine, pain and suffering damages are intangible and subjective. Calculating pain and suffering are challenging and proving these damages is another legal hurdle altogether. Our experienced Hollywood personal injury attorneys have the resources and knowledge to meet this challenge.
Whether you are working with an insurance company to reach an agreeable settlement or taking your case to trial, the burden of producing admissible and authentic evidence of pain and suffering lies with you. Under Florida law, the plaintiff is required to creditable evidence of the physical anguish and emotional distress they experienced. If the evidence is only speculative or is uncertain, an award for pain and suffering is unlikely.
Demonstrating pain and suffering depends on the injury and the harm a plaintiff endured. For physical pain, medical documentation is usually helpful in showing the extent of pain and suffering. An injured victim could rely on evidence of prescription pain medication or the written statement of their treating physician to document the level of pain they are experiencing. Medical records are also critical and could provide evidence of hospitalizations, treatments, or procedures.
However, pain and suffering can encompass more than physical pain. For example, a plaintiff who suffers from depression or anxiety is entitled to compensation for their mental conditions. Furthermore, loss of enjoyment of life is another large slice of pain and suffering damages. To establish a plaintiff’s mental state, our Hallandale personal injury attorneys will have to rely on expert opinions provided by medical and healthcare professionals. Additionally, records of hospitalization and psychiatric medication are compelling evidence.
One way to show the impact of an injury on a plaintiff’s life is through the plaintiff’s own testimony. A comparison of what your life was before your injury and afterward is often persuasive evidence. Additionally, the testimony of your family members, close friends, and co-workers could be used to explain who your injury adversely affected your day-to-day activities. The trustworthiness and veracity of the evidence presented are critical. Under no circumstances should a plaintiff exaggerate – anything that appears dishonest will jeopardize your pain and suffering award. Our Florida personal injury attorneys will work closely with you to provide supporting evidence of how your injury impacted your life.
Under Florida law, pain and suffering damages are divided between the suffering a victim has endured up to the present day and the pain and suffering they are likely to experience in the future. Therefore, your pain and suffering award will be split into two separate categories. Our Ft. Lauderdale personal injury attorneys will have to produce evidence of the harm you endured and the suffering you are likely to endure in the future.
When a Florida jury determines an award for pain and suffering damages, their decision must comply with a reasonableness test. For instance, if a jury awards a substantial future pain and suffering award, it must reasonably arise from the severity of the plaintiff’s injuries to pass judicial scrutiny. While a jury might be driven by sympathy to award a plaintiff a significant recovery, there must have been compelling evidence presented to justify their decision.
Being awarded compensation for your medical bills and lost wages are only part of the equation. At South Florida Law, PLLC, our attorneys are determined to fight for the pain and suffering damages you deserve as well. Call our Florida personal injury lawyers at (954) 932-7877 to discuss your case and potential damages.