If someone injured you through their own misconduct, Florida law entitles you to monetary compensation. If you can prove your claim, you will qualify to receive compensation for all of your losses. including your tangible and intangible losses. Under certain circumstances, you might even be eligible for punitive damages.
Economic damages compensate you for tangible losses that are easy to value in dollars and cents, including the following.
Medical expenses, such as:
- Doctors visits;
- Lab testing;
- MRIs and other diagnostic testing;
- Prescription and OTC medication;
- Surgery; and
- Medical equipment.
You can demand compensation for all of your reasonable and necessary medical expenses. You might have trouble enforcing a claim for non-traditional medical treatment such as acupuncture or homeopathy.
Future Medical Expenses
You might not have fully recovered by the time you press your claim. In fact, you might never recover fully or be unsure when you will recover. If you face this situation, you will need to demand future medical expenses. This necessity raises all sorts of complications. it is difficult to calculate and prove medical expenses that might occur decades into the future. The consequences of a miscalculation, however, could be serious.
As a practical matter, you might need an expert witness for two purposes. First, as a consulting witness to calculate your estimated medical expenses. Second, as a testimonial expert witness to prove the amount of your future medical expenses on the witness stand. The testimony of your expert during a deposition could tip the playing field in your favor when it comes to negotiating a reasonable settlement.
How seriously did your injuries affect your ability to work? Were you off work for a few days? Did you miss weeks of work? if you did, you qualify for reimbursement of your lost earnings. You will have to prove every penny you lost, however.
Future Lost Earnings
Can you return to work at your previous position, working the same number of hours as you did? If so, you might have no future lost earnings. If you must return to a less demanding, lower-paid position, however, you could accumulate lost earnings for weeks, months, or even years to come. In a worst-case scenario, you might find yourself unable to work ever again. In this case, it is imperative that you demand future lost earnings.
Calculating future lost earnings works a lot like calculating future medical expenses. You will probably need an expert witness to determine just how much you are likely to lose. If you suffered a permanent loss of your earning capacity, calculating your future loss earnings will not be easy. Nevertheless, you’ve got to get this one right the first time.
It is impossible to determine in advance exactly what kinds of expenses will arise if you suffer a personal injury. The following are some of the most common.
If you have children, their needs will not suddenly disappear simply because you suffered an injury. While you are in the hospital, in bed, or simply unable to care for your children, you might need to hire a babysitter or send your children to other forms of child care. Although child care isn’t cheap, you can demand reimbursement for all of your child care expenses.
You can also demand reimbursement for any amount you paid someone else to take care of your domestic chores during the time your injuries prevented you from doing so.
Medical travel expenses
You might need to spend the night out of town in order to receive medical treatment. If this happens, a variety of expenses might arise, most of them travel- and accommodation-related.
Strictly speaking, property damage is not a personal injury expense. Nevertheless, courts tend to handle property damage claims together with personal injury claims. Property damage claims are particularly likely to arise if you suffered a car accident. In addition to car repair or replacement, you might also find yourself liable for storage, storage, and car rental expenses.
Non-economic damages compensate you for intangible psychological losses, including the following.
Pain and Suffering
The measure of pain and suffering damages is how much physical suffering you endured as a result of your injuries. In many cases, pain and suffering damages amount to more than the total of non-economic damages available for a particular claim. Don’t ignore pain and suffering damages because they might be immense under certain circumstances.
About every personal injury results in a certain amount of emotional distress. Emotional distress damages compensate you for psychological rather than physical distress.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
Your injuries might have prevented you from enjoying hobbies and pastimes that used to bring you pleasure. They might prevent you from playing chess, for example, or from attending aerobics classes. Your injuries might even prevent you from spending time with friends. You deserve compensation for these losses.
Imagine you suffer extensive facial scarring. Compensating you for your medical expenses simply won’t be enough to compensate you for your full losses, including your emotional anguish and social disadvantages. Damages for scarring and disfigurement are designed to compensate you under these circumstances.
Loss of Consortium
Loss of consortium is a claim filed by your close relative(s) for losses that they suffer as a consequence of your injuries. For example. your spouse may no longer be able to enjoy emotional and sexual intimacy with you. Your children may have lost opportunities for companionship and guidance. All of these losses are compensatable.
In addition to economic damages and non-economic damages, courts sometimes award punitive damages. Courts only award punitive damages when the defendant’s conduct is so outrageous that it shocks the conscience. You might get punitive damages, for example, from a “road rage” incident in which the defendant intentionally caused the traffic accident that injured you.
You probably won’t obtain punitive damages even if you win your claim, but it is possible. Nevertheless, it is extremely difficult to obtain punitive damages through settlement negotiations alone. If you win punitive damages, it is a windfall. Even though the purpose of punitive damages is to punish the defendant, the money still goes to you.
It’s Not Just Whether You Win or Lose…
It’s how much you win. In a Florida personal injury award, you could win anywhere from a single dollar to millions of dollars, depending on the facts of your case. A lot of that depends on whether you hire a lawyer. Correspondingly, if you hire a lawyer, a lot depends on which lawyer you hire. A seasoned Stuart personal injury lawyer at Kibbey Wagner Injury & Car Accident Lawyers Stuart can make all the difference in your case. Contact us to provide you with a free consultation to discuss your legal rights and options today at (772) 444-7000.