Suing for Pain and Suffering in Florida
When a personal injury occurs due to another person’s negligence, the cost can be more than just tangible medical bills and lost wages. When pursuing a personal injury lawsuit, plaintiffs may be able to sue for “pain and suffering” in Florida. This is a broad term that encompasses non-economic damages that are caused by the injury, which can often be a larger sum than economic damages for injuries.
What Is Considered Pain and Suffering in Florida?
When you are seriously injured, there is a higher cost than just the medical bills, lost wages and limitations of earning income in the future. These tangible damages have a price tag that can be tallied and tend to be easier to calculate. Pain and suffering damages cover the other costs to your mental and emotional health. Enduring physical pain, disfigurement, long-term disability and impacts on your emotional health are all elements of pain and suffering in Florida personal injury lawsuits.
Not all states allow plaintiffs to sue for pain and suffering. Florida, however, does allow plaintiffs in personal injury cases to pursue damages for physical and emotional distress, with limitations. For instance, in auto accident injuries, Florida Statutes 627.737 allows pain and suffering to be included when any of the following occur:
- Significant or permanent loss of a bodily function
- Permanent disability
- Disfigurement or scarring which is permanent
- Loss of life
For other types of personal injury lawsuits outside of auto accidents, pain and suffering in Florida must usually be due to a physical injury. Claiming a person negligently caused mental anguish or emotional distress but no physical injury is not usually allowed. Since emotional pain cannot be quantified or easily proven, there must also be a physical injury. There are a few exceptions, including:
- Witnessing the death or significant injury to a family member
- Physical contact during a robbery
- Damages caused by a psychologist sharing confidential patient information
- Ingesting a foreign object
Premise liability claims for injuries from slips and falls or product liability lawsuits for injuries from defective products may include damages for pain and suffering. Whenever a physical injury occurred, the pain and suffering element can also be added. The damages for pain and suffering in Florida may be punitive, awarded as a deterrent to prevent future negligence of a similar manner.
If you have been injured due to a car accident, fall, defective product or other negligent action, you may be eligible to pursue compensation, including damages for pain and suffering. Our team at Tison Law Group has successfully fought to obtain substantial awards for pain and suffering for our clients. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to discuss your personal injury claim to explore your options.