When another person’s negligence leads to an injury, it’s not always the medical bills and property losses that cause the most damage. Suing for pain and suffering in Florida is an option that victims have when dealing with personal injury and auto accidents.
Pain and suffering covers a wide range of issues that can result from accidents, and pursuing such damages can often, though not always, lead to a larger settlement than the injuries themselves.
What Is Pain and Suffering in Florida?
If you are hurt in an accident, your medical bills and lost income now and in the future are only some of the losses that you can suffer. These losses are easy to calculate because they have definite costs. On the other hand, pain and suffering is less clear-cut because they have to do with your mental and emotional well-being. It has to do with the physical pain, disability, and permanent disfigurement that stems from your accident and how that impacts your outlook on and enjoyment of life.
While not all states give plaintiffs the ability to sue for pain and suffering, Florida is one of those that do. The rules governing such cases do, however, set some limitations.
It Depends on the Type of Accident
Being able to sue for pain and suffering is not necessarily based on personal injury, it’s based on the type of accident. If it’s a car accident there’s a threshold, and the threshold is that you must suffer a permanent injury. For everything else, there is no requirement for a threshold. In terms of car accidents, the way that it works is that the injured party goes to see a doctor and the depending on their range of motion or whatever the injury may be, the doctor will rely on the AMA’s guidelines, and they will award the patient a percentage permanent injury based on the injury.
Car Accident – Permanent Injury
For injuries resulting from car accidents, Florida Statute 627.737 allows plaintiffs to sue for pain and suffering when these factors occur:
- You suffer significant or permanent loss of a bodily function
- You suffer permanent disfigurement or scarring
- You suffer permanent disability
- A loved one dies
When you can make a case for one or more of the above, your pain and suffering case will be able to move forward.
All Other Accidents – No Threshold
For injuries that occur in accidents excluding auto accidents, pain and suffering in Florida is usually tied to a physical injury. It is rare that damages for mental or emotional distress will be awarded without a physical injury.
Of course, as with any rule, there are exceptions. You can sue for pain and suffering without sustaining an injury if:
- You witness a family member’s death or serious injury
- You experience physical contact during a robbery
- You ingest a foreign object
- You experience pain and suffering from a medical practitioner sharing private patient information
If you have been injured and want to learn whether you have a case for pain and suffering, always talk to a qualified attorney. Get in touch with us today to learn more.