Boca Raton has one of the highest recorded instances of car crashes in Palm Beach County of Florida. Unfortunately, you hear about car crashes in the news every other day. Such car crashes cause physical injuries and multiple other damages, significantly altering a victim’s life.
When you face a car accident because of someone’s negligence, you have every right to be compensated for your total loss. But remember, compensation isn’t just for physical injuries. Boca Raton car accident lawyers can also help you get paid for your pain and suffering.
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The Meaning of Pain and Suffering Damages
A car accident involves two kinds of damages for a victim: economic and non-economic.
- Economic damages refer to the costs with clear monetary values. For example, your medical bills or lost wages come with a specific value. Similarly, it’s easy to calculate the total damage to your car because you know its market value.
- Non-economic damages include adverse effects on your life that do not come with a direct monetary value. They are subjective and complex to define. For example, pain and suffering, mental trauma, humiliation, bullying, loss of consortium, etc.
Pain and suffering are the mental and emotional damages you suffer after a car accident. They are subjective because people react differently to accidents and injuries. Some common examples of pain and suffering include depression, post-traumatic stress, losing the ability to perform a favorite activity, etc. Pain and suffering resulting from a car accident may continue long after your physical injuries heal.
Eligibility for Recovering Pain and Suffering Damages
Florida’s no-fault system requires car accident victims to claim compensation from their own insurance coverage first, rather than filing a lawsuit against the at-fault driver. All car owners have to carry a Personal Injury Protection Coverage that covers eighty percent of their medical bills and sixty percent of their lost income after a car accident. Note that this coverage does not compensate for non-economic damages.
However, car accident victims can step out of Florida’s no-fault law if their injuries are severe. This means you can claim compensation for pain and suffering from the at-fault driver if your injuries pass the following threshold:
- Your injury is permanent, like brain trauma.
- You have severe and permanent disfigurement or scarring, like third-degree burns.
- You suffer from significant and permanent loss of bodily function, like losing a hand.
- You the wrongful death of a loved one.
All of the factors above are believed to cause significant pain and suffering to the victim, making them eligible for pain and suffering compensation.
How to Prove Your Pain and Suffering?
Filing a claim for pain and suffering damages requires you to open up about how the injuries have made your life difficult. However, it might be difficult for you to admit the limitations in your life after the car accident.
These limitations can be as simple as not being able to swim or as complex as having panic and anxiety attacks. You have to share every negative impact of your injuries with the lawyers and insurance companies. The more clearly you explain your pain and suffering, the higher your final settlement reward will be.
You will need help from your friends, family, and medical professionals to prove your pain and suffering claim. They can provide testimonies on your behalf in court.
Boca Raton car accident lawyers can also guide you about the proceedings with the insurance companies and the court. All you have to do is share complete information with them about your car accident, injuries, and the associated pain and suffering. They will require these details to paint a clear picture of your total damages.
The following documents can help you strengthen your pain and suffering claim:
- The written opinion of a mental health expert that describes the victim’s current state of mind and declares whether the victim’s pain and suffering are adequate for legal actions
- A testimony from the victims that explains what they have to suffer each passing day; a day-to-day account of the victim’s suffering will substantially impact the jury
- The written opinion of a doctor on how the victim’s physical injuries are likely to cause pain and suffering
- Testimonies from the victim’s family and friends that explain the changes in the victim’s life and how those changes have affected them as a unit
How is Compensation for Pain and Suffering Calculated?
Economic damages from a car accident are easy to calculate. You can add up all the medical bills, prescription costs, repair bills, and other out-of-pocket expenses to reach the amount required to recover your total expenses. However, calculations become complex when it comes to pain and suffering.
A lawyer can help you put a value on your emotional and mental trauma by evaluating critical factors, like the severity of your injuries, the ongoing need for medical treatment and therapies, age at the time of the accident, medical history, and the level of economic loss.
Here are some of the methods used to calculate pain and suffering damages.
- The Multiplier Method: All the economic damages are summed up, and the total figure is multiplied by a particular value, typically ranging from 1.5 to 5.
- The Per Diem Method: A dollar value is assigned to each day until you recover completely. The dollar value is typically your wage per day.
- Algorithms: Your injuries, treatment, and other factors are fed into a computer program to reach a specific value.
Talk to an Experienced Lawyer
Have you been injured in a car accident? Do you have a disability, a disfigurement, or long-term pain? You have the legal right to receive compensation from the negligent party in this situation.