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What is My Florida Personal Injury Claim Worth?

— October 5, 2022

Most personal injury claims in Riverview, FL, concern motor vehicle crashes, but you may also be entitled to damages if you are injured in some other type of accident.

Most personal injury claims in Riverview, FL, concern motor vehicle crashes, but you may also be entitled to damages if you are injured in some other type of accident, caused by a slip and fall, a defective product or nursing home abuse. One of the most common questions victims have is how much their claim might be worth. The short answer is more than the insurance company is prepared to offer you. If you want a more clear answer it’s best to talk to an experienced Riverview personal injury lawyer as the damages differ from case to case since they depend on the extent of your injuries and the circumstances surrounding the accident.

How are damages calculated in a personal injury claim?

If you were injured following an accident caused by someone’s negligence, you have the right to file a personal injury claim. If you’ve never been in such a situation before, do not try to handle matters on your own as the insurance company will most certainly try to lowball you by offering you only a fraction of the damages you truly deserve. As a rule, never talk to an insurance adjuster before getting legal advice from a knowledgeable Florida personal injury lawyer and, above all, never sign any settlement without consulting your attorney. 

When you file a personal injury claim you can collect compensatory damages and, in some cases, punitive damages as well.

Compensatory damages are of two types:

Economic damages

Economic damages refer to financial losses that can easily be proved by bills. You can be compensated for your medical expenses, including your hospital bills, certain medicines or medical equipment you might need at home. Also, if you need to make home modifications, such as installing ramps for a wheelchair or handrails, the insurance company should cover those expenses.

At the same time, you can seek compensation for your lost wages, past and future. This is very important if you are left with some type of disability and you might never work in the future or you will be forced to take an easier job that pays less.

Non-economic damages

This is an area where you will definitely need a seasoned accident attorney. Non-economic damages are also known as pain and suffering damages, and it’s hard to put a price on that. You can claim damages for your physical and mental suffering, as well as for loss of enjoyment or loss of companionship.

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Your lawyer can help by looking at legal precedents to see how much money you can get for the injuries you have sustained. If you are in a car accident and you break your leg that will be less severe an injury than brain or spine damage. In Florida, there is no cap on pain and suffering damages so a skilled accident lawyer can help you recover a considerable sum. 

Note that for medical malpractice cases, there is a $500,000 cap on pain and suffering damages. 

When can I get punitive damages?

You can recover punitive damages only when the liable party had an egregious conduct or acted with gross negligence. If you are injured in a DUI crash, your lawyer can help you sue for punitive damages and the higher the BAC level the driver had the higher your damages will be. However, under Florida law,  punitive damages are capped at three times the amount of your compensatory damages or $500,000, whichever amount is higher. 

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