An unexpected personal injury case can create financial uncertainty and confusion while trying to figure out how to get the compensation necessary for recovery. You might wonder what damages are available in a personal injury case in Clearwater, Florida.
The answer depends on how your injury occurred and what your losses are. To get the maximum compensation possible, you will likely want to work with a skilled Clearwater personal injury attorney. Here’s what damages are available in an injury case.
Any calculation of your damages after a personal injury begins with looking at your out of pocket, financial losses. You may have medical bills, and you may be unable to work. Economic damages are measurable, financial losses. In your case, economic damages might include any of the following:
If you receive medical treatment, your damages include the cost of care. It’s crucial to carefully save records of your medical bills so that you know what your expenses are. It’s also important to seek medical attention immediately if you’re hurt. You may not be able to claim medical bills as economic damages if you don’t see a doctor within 14 days of your injury.
Medical bills may include any of the following:
• Bills for treatment
• Medical assistance devices
• Physical therapy
• Physical aids in your home like grip handles
• Any other medical-related expense
When you’re hurt in a personal injury accident, you’re often unable to work. Your lost wages are a valid category of damages. You should add up the time that you miss and calculate what you would have made if you hadn’t gotten hurt. Include incentive pay like bonuses, commissions or tips.
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Lost Earning Capacity
In some cases, your injuries may prevent you from working into the future. While lost wages look at your lost pay in the immediate aftermath of your injuries, lost earning capacity looks at what you’re likely to lose in the future.
If you’re unable to stay in your profession in the long term or if you’re going to miss out on promotions and career development, you can ask for compensation for lost earning capacity. When you’re calculating your damages in a Clearwater injury case, it might be helpful to work with an accountant or occupational expert to determine your lost earning capacity.
Replacement Household Services
After your injury, you may need some help around the house. You may need help mowing the grass, doing the laundry, giving a family member a ride to work or doing other chores. If you need to hire someone to help you with these tasks, you can ask for damages for replacement household services.
When you’re hurt, not all of your injuries are out of pocket financial losses. You may have pain and discomfort from your physical injuries. You may also have emotional angst. You have to come to terms with not being able to do the things that you could do before. These damages qualify as your non-economic damages.
Pain and Suffering
The purpose of this category of damages is to pay you something for the physical pain you feel because of what happened. You look at the severity of your injuries to roughly calculate how much to ask for in pain and suffering damages. Even though pain and suffering damages can’t take your injuries away, they can attempt to compensate you for what you’ve experienced.
Physical damages aren’t the only way you suffer from a personal injury. You likely also have emotional distress. Emotional suffering is a genuine loss, and you can recover for your emotional distress in many cases. Just like damages for pain and suffering, you determine your emotional damages by looking at the severity and prognosis of your physical injuries.
Many personal injuries also come with property damages. If you’re hurt in a car accident, for example, you probably also have damages to your car. You may need to work with an appraiser to accurately determine a value for your property losses.
In cases where the other side behaves in a very egregious way, you may be able to receive punitive damages. The purpose of punitive damages is to punish the other side for acting in a way that’s likely to cause harm. Punitive damages are only available in a small percentage of cases where there’s evidence that the other party behaved in a way that disregarded a grave risk of harm.
There are damage caps in some types of Clearwater, Florida injury cases. Florida law 768.73 says that punitive damages are limited to $500,000 or three times the amount of compensatory damages whichever is greater.
Florida’s no-fault car insurance laws can also impact the damages available in your injury case. If you have a car accident case, non-economic damages are only available if your case is one that falls outside of the no-fault recovery system.
How to Recover for Damages
In most cases, you recover for damages by bringing a personal injury claim for recovery. You file your claim in the appropriate court. The other side has a chance to respond, and the case proceeds through the legal system.
Sometimes, it may be appropriate to approach an insurance company in an attempt to receive fair compensation directly without bringing a formal lawsuit.
How Can Jack Bernstein, Injury Attorneys Help?
If you’re hurt in a personal injury case, our team can help you determine what damages may be available to you. In addition to deciding what damages apply to your case, it’s also important to decide on how to document your damages and build your case.
Jack Bernstein and his team of Clearwater, Florida personal injury professionals have a passion for helping deserving victims work towards the compensation they deserve when they suffer a personal injury. With more than 50,000 cases under his belt, Bernstein and his team have the experience and drive to enthusiastically help clients work towards the best possible result in court.