Physical and emotional pain and suffering are not uncommon after a car accident. However, unlike medical bills or property damage, pain and suffering is difficult to quantify and obtain compensation for.
A skilled car accident attorney can review the details of your claim and help determine if you are entitled to compensation for your pain and suffering. We will guide you through the requirements for obtaining this type of compensation after a Florida car accident. Contact the experienced West Palm Beach car crash lawyers of Gordon & Doner for a free consultation to learn the legal options available in your situation.
Florida No-Fault Insurance Laws
Florida law requires drivers carry a minimum of $10,000 in personal injury protection (PIP) insurance, as well as $10,000 in liability insurance for property damage.
Since Florida is a no-fault car accident state, a driver’s PIP coverage pays for the insured’s damages from an accident no matter who was at fault for the crash. This coverage should pay for:
- Medical expenses for treatment related to your accident injuries
- Disability benefits if you are unable to go back to work immediately due to your injuries
- Death benefits to relatives if the accident is fatal
The only situation in which an individual can pursue additional compensation, such as pain and suffering, is through a personal injury lawsuit, which can only be filed if the victim’s injuries meet the injury threshold.
Florida Statutes Chapter 627 only allows car accident victims to pursue compensation for pain and suffering if their injuries resulted in:
- Significant, permanent loss of function
- Permanent injury
- Disfigurement or permanent scars
If your injuries meet this threshold, you may be able to pursue compensation for your pain and suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience from your injuries.
However, before you can file a lawsuit, you must be able to prove that your injuries were caused by another’s negligence. This requires proving that:
- The at-fault party was negligent, careless or reckless.
- The at-fault party’s actions caused your injuries.
- Your injuries have caused pain and suffering and other damages.
How to Prove You Meet the Injury Threshold
To prove your car accident injuries meet the injury threshold, your lawyer will gather evidence that supports the pain and suffering you have experienced.
Your attorney may use:
- Medical records
- Prescription records
- Photos documenting your injuries
- Employer documents detailing your time off work due to the accident
- Expert testimony from physicians
- Accident reconstruction experts
- Your personal journal detailing the impact your injuries have had on your everyday life
- Your testimony
- Testimony of family members that illustrates how your injuries have impacted your family
There is no exact method for determining the amount of compensation awarded for pain and suffering. A jury may look at the following elements related to your injuries when awarding compensation:
- How severe the injuries are
- The medical treatment you have undergone
- How long it will take for the injuries to heal
- If your injuries require future medical treatment
- How the injuries impact your life
- Pain and discomfort linked to the injury
Contact Our West Palm Beach Car Accident Attorneys
When seeking compensation for pain and suffering after a car accident, working with an experienced car accident lawyer will be to your advantage. Our West Palm Beach car accident lawyers will investigate your claim, gathering the evidence to help prove your injuries meet the threshold.
Contact us to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation and learn what legal options are available for pursuing pain and suffering compensation. We work on a contingency fee basis, so you only pay if we recover compensation in your case.