What Exactly is “Pain and Suffering” in a Personal Injury Case?

According to personal injury law, “pain and suffering” is a specific type of damages that the injury victim or plaintiff can seek compensation for.  The at-fault party that caused the plaintiff’s injuries or their insurer is responsible for compensating them.  The legal purpose behind claiming pain and suffering damages in a personal injury case is to compensate the injury victim for enduring difficulties that result from their injuries.

Florida Standard Jury Instructions

According to Florida Standard Jury Instructions (FSJI 501.2), an injury victim can claim compensation for “pain and suffering, disability or physical impairment, disfigurement, mental anguish, inconvenience, or loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life experienced in the past or to be experienced in the future.”  Pain and suffering is an example of non-economic or non-monetary damages that cover less tangible losses and have little to do with the injury victim’s (plaintiff’s) financial losses.

Non-Economic or Non-Monetary Damages

How much would it be worth to you if you were unable to pick up and hold your son or daughter because you were in too much pain? What amount of compensation would pay for your inability to go jogging or swimming without feeling any pain? Examples of non-economic or non-monetary damages include:

  • decreased quality of life
  • emotional distress or mental anguish
  • impairments and injuries
  • loss of companionship, consortium, or relationship (as in a wrongful death case)
  • pain and suffering

If you’ve suffered injuries in an accident that was caused by another person’s careless behavior, you have the right to file a claim or lawsuit for compensation.  A personal injury attorney can evaluate your case and determine how much you should be compensated for your pain and suffering.

Proving Your Pain and Suffering

Your attorney can assist you in gathering the evidence and relevant documents needed to prove your pain and suffering such as:

  • Documented judgment of an expert that testifies to the pain and suffering experienced by other individuals with similar injuries
  • Records of medications that were prescribed for your physical or mental conditions
  • Written opinion of a mental healthcare professional regarding your psychological state as well as your mental pain and suffering
  • Written opinion of medical professionals that testify to and verify your physical pain
  • Your testimony that details your pain and suffering (juries are often moved by how your injuries have impacted your quality of life

We are here to help you get compensated for your injuries, so get your case evaluated by our lawyers. For more information about pain and suffering damages in a personal injury case, call the Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group today at (772) 569-8155.

How Much Compensation Can I Expect in a Personal Injury Lawsuit?

You may be wondering how much compensation you can expect to receive in a motor vehicle accident settlement.  Unfortunately, there’s no exact science or formula for determining this with absolute confidence.  Some claims are only worth a few thousand dollars while those involving victims with catastrophic injuries can be worth millions.  It is important to get your case evaluated by legal experts before filing a claim. As a result, several factors can influence the value of a claim including:

  • Lost income – your injuries may hinder your ability to return to work. While some injury victims may only miss a few days on the job, others may never be able to work again.  Lost income and loss of future earnings potential are economic damages that can result when you’ve suffered injuries in a motor vehicle accident.  The bottom line is that you deserve fair and reasonable compensation for any income that you lose while recovering from the accident as well as your diminished earning capacity.
  • Negligence – your injury settlement may also be affected by Florida’s “comparative negligence” This law applies when the victim’s actions contribute to their accident and/or injuries.  For example, let’s say you’re seeking $10,000 in damages after getting into an accident with a distracted driver, but you were driving 10 mph over the posted speed limit.  An insurer or jury might consider that you were 20% responsible for the accident and deduct 20% from the amount you’re seeking.  Consequently, you would only be entitled to $8,000 for your claim.
  • Non-economic damages – as opposed to economic damages (lost income, medical expenses, property damage, etc.), non-economic damages are not about the victim’s financial losses. These relate to less tangible losses such as emotional distress, loss of companionship, pain, and suffering, and so on.  Non-economic damages differ from economic damages since they cover those losses that are difficult to calculate but still need to be compensated.
  • Your injuries – your primary goal after getting injured in a motor vehicle accident and getting treated for your injuries is to collect compensation from the at-fault party. A motor vehicle accident can leave the victim with mounting medical expenses.  Based on the nature and extent of those injuries, they may need medical treatment and possibly rehabilitative therapy in the future.  The right personal injury attorney can improve your chances of reaching a settlement and getting the compensation you deserve.

For more information about compensation in a personal injury claim or lawsuit, contact the Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group at (772) 569-8155 today. We have helped innumerable accident victims get compensated and can help you.

Do I Need a Personal Injury Attorney if I’ve Been Injured in a Motorcycle Accident?

Compared to other states, Florida has one of the highest motorcycle fatality rates in the US.  Unfortunately, even the most responsible motorcyclist can get injured in these types of accidents.  Furthermore, there is a higher risk of catastrophic accidents and injuries for motorcyclists than there is for other motor vehicle drivers.  Consequently, the injuries sustained in motorcycle accidents could require costly medical treatment and even long-term recovery care.

Florida is a No-Fault State

Where motor vehicle insurance is concerned, Florida is a “no-fault” state.  This means passenger vehicle motorists can rely on their Personal Injury Protection when seeking compensation for damages and injuries after an accident – regardless of who is at fault.  Depending on the type of policy you have, it could also mean that an insurer might not be responsible for those damages and injuries after getting into a motorcycle accident.  Fortunately, you can seek compensation with the help of a personal injury attorney. As they charge on a contingency basis, you don’t have to pay an upfront fee but a small percentage of the compensation that was pre-decided.

How can a Personal Injury Attorney Help Motorcycle Accident Victims?

If you decide to file an injury lawsuit against the insurer of a negligent driver, you must prove that your damages and injuries meet specific criteria.  Additionally, you have to prove that your injuries resulted from the other party’s negligent actions or conduct.  A personal injury attorney can help with this and provide grounds for filing a lawsuit against their insurer.  They can investigate the circumstances surrounding the accident and gather evidence that proves negligence was a factor.

However, you can still benefit from hiring a personal injury attorney, even if you decide not to file a claim against the negligent party’s insurer.  You have to remember that even your own insurance company is more focused on protecting their bottom line than protecting you.  Unfortunately, most insurers are not inclined to offer their clients the full amount of compensation they’re deserving of.

While a personal injury attorney cannot promise that you’ll recover a specific amount, they are qualified for negotiating a fair and reasonable settlement on your behalf.  Plus, their assistance helps to maximize your chances of getting the compensation that you deserve.  A personal injury attorney can also take care of such tasks as coordinating with doctors, corresponding with claims adjusters, and building a strong case for a claim or lawsuit.  This gives you time to focus on what’s most important – your recovery.

For more information or to schedule a FREE consultation, call Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group today at (772) 569-8155.


5 Reasons a Personal Injury Attorney May Refuse to Represent You

In most cases, when a personal injury attorney refuses to represent you, it has nothing to do with the client personally.  He or she may have ethical conflicts that prevent them from taking you on as a client or it may not make financial sense to do so.  In other cases, the attorney may not have enough evidence or legal reasons to pursue the case.  The following is a list of the 5 main reasons that a personal injury attorney may decline to represent you and your case:

  • Estimated amount of recovery is too low – if you suffered only slight damages, a personal injury attorney might decline to represent you. Damages typically include lost income, medical expenses, pain, and suffering, etc.  If your injuries were minor and you’ve fully recovered from them, they may not be sufficient enough to be economically feasible for the attorney to represent you.
  • Statute of Limitations has expired – the statute of limitations in personal injury cases establishes the deadline for filing a claim or lawsuit.
  • There is a conflict of interest – conflict of interest rules were instituted to ensure that an attorney will fully represent you and your best interests. Consequently, any conflict of interest may divide their loyalties.  If this occurs, the ethical rules will bar that attorney from providing legal representation.  For example, if the attorney’s cousin owns the property where your slip and fall accident occurred, the attorney could potentially have a conflict of interest if they represented you.
  • You contributed too much to the fault – in the state of Florida, your ability to recover compensation for damages and injuries is directly related to the role you played in the accident. If you contributed to the fault of the accident in any way, it will reduce the amount of compensation you ultimately receive.
  • Your case is outside the attorney’s expertise – not all attorneys represent all types of personal injury claims and lawsuits. Some attorneys will avoid certain practice areas such as medical malpractice, nursing home abuse, or workplace accidents while others may dedicate their entire practice to only one or two areas such as mass torts or product liability cases.

If you are confused about the state of your case and are looking to claim damages, we are here to help you. To learn if you have a valid personal injury claim, call the Graves Thomas Rotunda Injury Law Group today at (772) 569-8155 for a FREE consultation.