If you were injured due to another’s negligence, you may be entitled to compensation for the resulting medical expenses and financial losses you have suffered through a personal injury claim .
However, it is important that you understand the extent of your injuries and the amount of compensation you may be entitled to receive. An experienced injury attorney will understand how to evaluate the suffering and losses you incurred after an accident to determine the true cost of your claim.
Our skilled personal injury attorneys in West Palm Beach will provide you with a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your claim and help you determine an accurate amount of compensation you may be owed. We have recovered millions in verdicts and settlements for our clients and continue to pursue the maximum amount of compensation for each claim we represent.
Below, we discuss the factors an attorney will use to accurately determine the value of a personal injury claim:
Economic damages compensate victims for monetary losses directly related to the injury caused by negligence, including:
You may be compensated for past, present and future costs of your medical treatment related to the injury.
Medical expenses can include the type of treatment and services you received since you suffered an injury, such as:
- Hospital visits
- Medical transportation, such as riding in an ambulance
- Doctors’ appointments
- Medical tests and imaging
- Assistive medical equipment, such as a wheelchair
- Long-term care
- Cost of a caregiver
- Prescription medication
If your injury has prevented you from working, resulting in loss of income, you may be entitled to compensation for lost wages.
There are several types of evidence your personal injury attorney can use to prove that you suffered a loss of income after you were injured in an accident. This can include pay stubs detailing your rate of pay and the average number of hours you work during the week. You may also use a signed letter from your employer detailing how your injury has affected your ability to perform the required duties of your job.
Furthermore, if your injury has caused you to suffer a permanent disability that prevents you from obtaining employment, you may be entitled to compensation for loss of earning capacity. This means you may be entitled to the amount of income you would have earned had you not suffered an injury as a result of the at-fault party’s negligence.
Noneconomic damages means compensation for the intangible losses and suffering you experienced after being injured in an accident. These types of damages can include:
- Pain and suffering: This compensates the victim for the pain and discomfort he or she experiences as a result of the injury and how the victim’s daily life has been affected.
- Emotional suffering: Victims may be entitled to compensation for the emotional distress they suffered after the accident, such as depression, insomnia, anxiety, fear and other psychological effects.
- Loss of enjoyment of life: If the victim is unable to enjoy the former activities or lifestyle he or she maintained before becoming injured, he or she may be entitled to compensation for loss of enjoyment of life.
- Loss of companionship: This type of compensation is intended for victims whose relationships with family members, spouses and loved ones were affected by the accident. This refers to the loss of intimacy and companionship the victim and his or her loved one experience because of the victim’s injury.
Noneconomic damages do not have a monetary value and can only be obtained by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the at-fault party.
Your attorney will review your claim to determine if your injury has affected your ability to live a normal and independent life. He or she can use personal statements, psychologist narratives and other testimony to demonstrate how your injury has impacted your life and your relationship with your loved ones.
Florida’s Pure Comparative Negligence Law
In some situations, the victim may have been partially at fault for causing the accident that resulted in his or her injury. However, this does not completely bar the victim from receiving compensation for the accident.
In this situation, Florida uses the standard of pure comparative negligence to determine the amount of compensation the victim may still be entitled to receive. Under this rule, a court will review the victim’s negligence and assign him or her a percentage to represent the victim’s level of fault.
The amount of compensation the victim may be entitled to receive will then be reduced by the percentage he or she is assigned.
For example, a victim may file a $100,000 claim after being injured in a car accident. However, the court determines the victim is 30 percent at fault for the accident. The victim’s claim will then be reduced by 30 percent, making the maximum amount of compensation he or she can receive $70,000.
Punitive Damages in Florida
In certain situations, a court may require the at-fault party to pay additional punitive damages to the victim. However, punitive damages are not meant as a form of compensation for the victim’s pain and suffering.
Instead, punitive damages serve as a monetary punishment the court imposes on the at-fault party if its actions were especially egregious, negligent, reckless or intentionally meant to harm the victim. The court also uses punitive damages to deter others from committing the same actions in the future.
In Florida, the amount of punitive damages a court can award a victim is limited to three times the compensatory damages awarded in the case or $500,000, whichever amount is greater, according to FL Stat. § 768.72.3.
However, in cases where the at-fault party’s actions were intentional with the motive of causing injury for financial gain, a court can award the victim punitive damages of up to four times the compensatory damages awarded or $2 million, whichever amount is greater.
Contact Gordon & Partners Now
The West Palm Beach attorneys of Gordon & Partners are ready to assist you if you have been injured by someone else’s negligence. We will evaluate your case in order to determine its true value and pursue maximum compensation for the damages you have suffered.
Request a free, no obligation consultation to find out which legal options may be available to your claim. There are no upfront fees and you only have to pay us if we recover compensation for you.