When a commercial truck weighing from 10,000 to 80,000 pounds collides with a smaller vehicle, the results can be disastrous—especially if the truck is traveling at a high speed. The occupant of the smaller vehicle is likely to suffer very serious injuries.
If you’ve been injured in a truck accident that occurred due to negligence of the truck driver and/or the company for which the driver works, Florida law allows you to file a claim seeking compensation for both economic and non-economic damages. However, calculating the monetary value of your pain and suffering can be a complex process.
Economic vs. Non-Economic Damages
Determining the value of your economic damages like medical bills, lost wages, and property damage is a fairly straightforward procedure. Putting a dollar amount on your non-economic damages, however, can be much more difficult.
The physical pain and suffering that you’ve experienced since the accident and will experience in the future is just one part of your non-economic damages. The mental and emotional suffering, anxiety, and/or depression that often result from a very serious injury must also be considered. Calculating the dollar value of these damages requires the services of an experienced attorney.
Factors That Affect Non-Economic Damages
The courts and insurance companies consider a number of different factors when awarding compensation for pain and suffering. These include:
- Types of physical injuries you’ve suffered
- Physical and non-physical treatment you will require
- How long treatment will be necessary
- If/when you will recover from your injuries
- Your health before the accident
- Your age
- How your injuries will affect your daily life in the future
- Your ability to work and/or participate in normal daily activities
Calculating the Amount of Your Award
One of your lawyer’s jobs is to put a dollar amount on your physical and mental suffering in order to determine the award you will seek. Many attorneys do so by using a multiplier method. This means that your injury is assigned a number that increases according to severity. That number is then multiplied by the cost of your treatment, and the product of those two numbers will be the award you seek.
Another method of calculation places a dollar amount on every day between the day of your accident and the time when your doctors predict you will fully recover. The more days you are expected to suffer, the higher the award you will demand.
In Florida, there is no cap on the award you may seek. You do not have to present a “threshold injury” to seek damages for pain and suffering.
Proving Your Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering are considered general damages in Florida. This means that you must provide evidence of your pain and suffering for the determination of your award. While it might be difficult to show concrete proof of such damages, the evidence you may submit includes:
- Medical documentation and your doctor’s opinion about your future pain and suffering
- Prescriptions and medications you will require
- Your daily records of the physical and mental consequences of your accident
- The testimony of your family members and caregivers
- An evaluation by a mental health professional
- Photographs of your injuries
The at-fault driver’s insurance company might dispute the cause of the accident and/or the seriousness of your injuries in order to avoid paying the amount you seek for pain and suffering. Because Florida is a comparative negligence state, your award could be also affected if you are found partially responsible for the accident. Your best defenses against such disputes or threats to your award are your credibility, the credibility of your witnesses, and the services of an experienced attorney.
Have You Been Injured in a Truck Accident in Florida?
An experienced truck accident attorney can calculate the dollar amount of your damages for pain and suffering. To seek the justice you deserve, contact us online, start a chat, or call our Coral Springs office at 954-755-7803 to schedule your free consultation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis, so you’ll pay no attorney fees until we win your case.