Pain and Suffering Damages After a Car Accident in Tampa, Florida
Car accident pain and suffering damages can have a lasting impact on your life. Along with the pain of your injuries and treatment, there are often emotional wounds that can last long after your injuries have healed. Fortunately, the law allows those who’ve been hurt due to negligence to seek fair compensation for the pain, suffering, and emotional anguish they’re forced to endure.
If you’ve been severely hurt in a car accident in Florida, the Tampa personal injury lawyers at Brooks Law Group have the experience and the resources to fight for the full compensation you deserve. Since our founding in 1992, our car accident law firm has recovered millions in compensation on behalf of our clients. Contact us now for a free initial consultation on your case.
What Is Pain and Suffering After a Car Accident?
Pain and suffering refers to any mental or physical burden you endure that was caused by injuries from an accident. This includes things like:
- The physical pain you’ve experienced due to your injuries
- Grief from losing a body part or bodily functions because of your injuries
- Anxiety or depression stemming from the trauma of the accident
- Having a lower quality of life because of the pain from your injuries
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
There are two broad categories of compensation you can potentially receive in a personal injury claim. The first is compensation for economic damages, which is money you receive to make up for losses that have a specific dollar amount attached. Some types of economic damages include:
- Compensation for your past and future medical bills as a result of the accident
- Compensation for your lost wages
- Compensation for your reduced ability to earn a living, if your injuries led to you being disabled
- Compensation for the value of your damaged personal property (such as your car)
- Compensation for funeral and burial expenses, if someone in your family died in an accident
The other category of compensation in car accident cases is non-economic damages. As you may have guessed, non-economic damages refers to compensation you receive for losses that do not have a specific dollar value. Compensation for non-economic damages can be more challenging to quantify, but it is crucial to account for. Some examples of non-economic damages include:
- The physical pain stemming from your injuries
- Any mental or emotional harm you’ve suffered from your injuries
- The impact your injuries have on your quality of life
- Loss of support from a family member who died in an accident
Non-economic damages are more difficult to measure and recover in a personal injury case. However, getting help from an experienced car accident lawyer gives you a better chance at recovering the full value of your claim.
Why Is Measuring Pain and Suffering So Difficult?
The biggest reason measuring pain and suffering after a car accident is tricky is that “pain and suffering” is a concept that is difficult to quantify. This is in sharp contrast to things like someone’s medical bills after a car crash, where receipts can help you calculate precisely how much those expenses cost you. Some of the factors that can influence how much you receive in compensation for pain and suffering include:
- The severity of your injuries
- Your chances of making a full recovery
- Your age and how long you’re expected to live after the accident
- Whether you have any pre-existing medical conditions
- Your daily pain level
- How much your pain limits your ability to enjoy and take part in everyday activities
One way that’s sometimes used to calculate someone’s compensation for pain and suffering in an accident is known as the “multiplier method.” This approach involves calculating someone’s economic damages after a car accident, then multiplying that figure by another number (usually 1 to 5) to determine how much compensation the injured party should receive for pain and suffering.
Another formula used to calculate compensation for pain and suffering is the “per diem method.” This approach calculates pain and suffering based on a specific dollar amount per day. That dollar amount is then multiplied by the number of days your injury lasted.
A knowledgeable lawyer can help you evaluate your pain and suffering and demand the full compensation you deserve.
Tampa, FL, Pain and Suffering Damages Limitations
Florida’s no-fault car insurance system can make it a challenge to claim compensation for pain and suffering after an accident. That’s because your injuries must meet specific standards for you to file an insurance claim or lawsuit against the party responsible for your injuries. To claim compensation for pain and suffering, you will first have to exhaust your no-fault Personal Injury Protection (PIP) benefits that all Florida drivers are required to carry.
After you’ve used up your PIP benefits, you will have to show that your injuries meet the “serious injury” threshold set by state law if you want to file a compensation claim. Florida law defines serious injuries as:
- Broken bones and fractures
- Injuries resulting in significant disfigurement
- Injuries that permanently limit the use of a body organ or member
- Injuries that significantly limit the use of a body function or system
- Injuries that leave you fully or substantially disabled for 90 days or more
If you can demonstrate your injuries meet these standards, you could potentially seek compensation for pain and suffering. However, the law is complex. So it’s a good idea to trust your case to an experienced car accident attorney.
An Experienced Tampa Car Accident Lawyer Can Help You Today
The Tampa car accident lawyers at Brooks Law Group represent people who’ve been seriously hurt in crashes that could have been prevented. We know how terrifying collisions can be and how painful and traumatic the resulting injuries often are. That’s why we fight for fair compensation for our clients. We want to see that you are made whole again.
For a free consultation, call us or reach out to us online.