How Pain and Suffering is Determined in a Florida Car Accident Case

by | Car Accident Injury Information, Personal Injury

When calculating how much your car accident injury case is worth, a few different factors are used by insurance companies to assign value for personal injury claims. These factors include reimbursement for resulting medical bills, lost income, damages, and pain and suffering.

“Pain and suffering” refers to the physical discomfort, emotional distress, inconvenience, or anguish accompanying an injury. This can include all non-economic damages such as physical pain and suffering, lost quality of life, humiliation, mental anguish, emotional distress, inconvenience, discomfort, and loss of consortium. For example, the accident may have left you with a neck or back injury that prevents you from doing activities you’ve always enjoyed.  Maybe an accident left you disfigured or scarred, impacting your self-confidence and desire to be seen in public.

How is Pain and Suffering Calculated

Calculating pain and suffering isn’t a straightforward process because every personal injury case is unique. There are many factors that go into determining a monetary amount for those damages. Pain and suffering covers the overall loss of comfort, ability, happiness, and opportunity that follows serious injuries – all subjective and not easy to quantify.

An insurance company will look at many factors and investigate your actions following an accident to determine compensation for pain and suffering, in addition to other more concrete damages. An insurance company will look at your medical records. They will look at the time you took off work for medical treatment or to recuperate from your injuries. Some of the records an insurance company will review include:

  • Medical records
  • Medical bills
  • Photos of your injuries
  • Costs of medications
  • Over-the-Counter Medical expenses
  • Employment documents

Many insurance companies will rate the level of pain and suffering between one and five depending on your pain and suffering severity and length. That rating is used as a multiplier and added to your actual damages to propose a proposed settlement amount. An insurance company will try to settle a case for less than what it’s worth. In fact, the adjusters that work your case are incentivized to settle for as little as possible. Unfortunately, they typically do not have the injured party’s best interest in mind.

How Actions After Any Automobile Accident Can Greatly Affect the Value of a Case

Medical records following an accident injury are significant to establishing pain and suffering for an accident case. Medical records are the bulk of the evidence, and they impact the value case. These records can vary based on how you interact and communicate with your doctors and medical care providers.  

Examples of Pain and Suffering

We can break pain and suffering examples into two main categories – physical and emotional.

Some Examples of Physical Pain and Suffering

  • Long-term disability
  • Shortened life expectancy
  • Current and future physical limitations
  • Complications to daily life
  • Physical pain and discomfort
  • Significant disfigurements, such as scars, amputations, or burns
  • Loss of bodily function
  • Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs)

Some Examples of Emotional Pain and Suffering

  • Depression or anxiety
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Changes in sleeping or eating patterns
  • Loss of enjoyment of life or things you used to do
  • Mood swings
  • Fear, anger, or humiliation

While these are the most common examples, there may be other physical or mental harm.

What is the average personal injury settlement in Florida?

In Florida, the average personal injury settlement ranges between $3,000 and $75,000; some can be much higher depending on the unique circumstances. The compensation for an accident is based on the individual factors surrounding the accident and the severity and impact of the injury.

In the state of Florida, there is a cap on punitive damages in a Florida personal injury case of no more than a three times multiplier of the amount of compensatory damages (e.g. medical bills, repair costs), or a maximum of $500,000. However, in the case of gross negligence or intentional misconduct, compensations can be higher.

Getting the Most for Your Car Accident Injury Case

Statistics show injured individuals will recover more for their injuries if they have the assistance of a personal injury attorney.  According to a study by Nolo, injury victims represented by a law firm receive on average three times more in a settlement after attorney fees than those who proceeded without a lawyer.

Free Consultation from an Experienced Personal Injury Attorney

It doesn’t cost you anything to talk to an attorney about your case. When you contact The Jaspon Firm, we will discuss your unique situation and options.  If we take your case, you pay nothing unless and until we get you compensation for your case.

Jeremiah Jaspon has worked on hundreds of cases and can advise you on your unique case.