Each state has differing laws when it comes to personal injury cases, car accidents, suing for pain and suffering, and more. Florida car accident victims should get familiar with the laws in Florida. One of the best ways to do this is to hire an experienced and knowledgeable personal injury attorney. He or she can help you navigate the legal processes if you find yourself in need of suing for pain and suffering.
FLORIDA IS A NO-FAULT INSURANCE STATE
Florida’s no-fault insurance policy requires drivers in car accidents to file claims with their own insurance first, notwithstanding who was at fault in the accident. If compensation through their own insurance carrier isn’t enough to mitigate all the damages, then they can file a lawsuit with the insurance company of the driver who was at fault, or a third party if that party was negligent and whose actions could be contributed to the cause of the crash.
WHAT DOES PAIN AND SUFFERING MEAN?
Damages for pain and suffering represent further damages that cannot be attributed to physical or mental damages, necessarily. It is for emotional trauma that can involve feelings of fear, grief, insomnia, worry, stress, inconvenience, and/or loss of the ability to enjoy life.
TAKING A TOLL
Car accidents can be more damaging than physical or mental (brain) conditions alone. An emotional toll, known as pain and suffering, can also be factored in when trying to come up with a reasonable settlement amount for a personal injury car accident case. Pain and suffering can be considered physical pain that is going to stay with you for the rest of your life; it’s something that can never be fully restored or resolved.
If the accident caused physical disfigurement so that you will never be able to return to the same appearance/same being as before the car accident, that qualifies as pain and suffering. The toll that long-term disability takes on your emotional health is another consideration. All these have a right to be considered as pain and suffering in a Florida personal injury lawsuit.
You cannot include pain and suffering in a personal injury lawsuit in every state. In Florida, however, you can litigate cases for physical and emotional distress. Some limitations, however, do exist. In car accident injury cases, under Florida Statutes 627.737, it is allowable to sue for pain and suffering in a few different situations.
According to Florida laws, if you want to pursue a pain and suffering lawsuit, you must meet the criteria that the state establishes as an “injury threshold.” To that end, the car accident must have caused one of the following:
Loss of life
Permanent disfigurement or scarring
Permanent or significant loss of a bodily function
It is difficult to quantify an amount in a pain and suffering lawsuit because this type of non-economic damage is very subjective. It is hard for anyone to judge just exactly how severe the trauma is that has been inflicted on the victim as it could be different for every individual. Compensation could range anywhere from $1,000 to $1,000,000 or more. There are three types of suffering most often reviewed as being part of a pain and suffering lawsuit. They are mental anguish, physical pain and suffering, and other losses that are non-economic in nature.
When you plan on suing for pain and suffering in Florida, you should speak to a personal injury attorney who is knowledgeable about Florida laws. A good lawyer will be able to help you navigate smoothly through the Florida court system.