When you’ve been injured due to another party’s negligence, the personal injury claim process can be daunting. One of the most frequently asked questions is, “How much is my personal injury claim worth?” In this blog post, we will delve into the factors that influence the value of a personal injury claim in Florida, providing insights that can help victims better understand their legal situations.
Please note that the information here is not legal advice but a general overview. For specific information pertaining to your personal injury claim, it is crucial to consult with a qualified Florida personal injury attorney.
In Florida, like in many states, a personal injury claim’s value primarily depends on the damages incurred due to the injury. These damages can be categorized into two broad types:
Economic Damages: Also known as special damages, these are the quantifiable costs related to the accident. They include medical expenses, lost wages due to time off work, property damage, and future expenses like ongoing medical treatment or reduced earning capacity.
Non-Economic Damages: These are subjective, non-monetary losses related to the accident. They include pain and suffering, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and loss of consortium (loss of companionship or relationship with a spouse).
Florida law allows for the recovery of both economic and non-economic damages in a personal injury lawsuit.
Several factors can influence the value of your personal injury claim, including:
Severity of Injury: The severity of your injury directly impacts the value of your claim. More serious injuries often lead to higher medical expenses, prolonged recovery, and increased pain and suffering, all of which contribute to a higher claim value .
Impact on Quality of Life: If your injury has long-term or permanent effects on your quality of life, this will increase the value of your claim. This could be due to permanent disability, disfigurement, or a reduced ability to engage in activities you once enjoyed.
Liability: Florida follows a “Modified Comparative Fault” rule. This means that if you were partially at fault for the accident, your compensation would be reduced by your percentage of fault. However, if you were MORE THAN 50% at fault for the accident, your claim is completely barred under Florida’s new law.
Ability to Pay: The at-fault party’s ability to pay can also influence your claim’s value. For instance, if the liable party has insurance, the policy limit might affect the amount you can recover.
Calculating damages is a complex task and generally involves the following steps:
This is typically the more straightforward part of calculating damages. It involves adding up the costs of medical treatment, loss of earnings, and any other out-of-pocket expenses related to the injury.
Assigning a dollar value to non-economic damages like pain and suffering is more complex. In Florida, there is no hard and fast rule for this calculation. However, many attorneys use the “multiplier method,” which involves multiplying the total economic damages by a number (between 1.5 and 5) that reflects the severity of the injury.
If you bear some responsibility for the accident, the total damage amount would be reduced by your percentage of fault.
Due to the complexities involved, accurately determining the value of your personal injury claim can be challenging without professional help. Engaging a skilled personal injury attorney from Shapiro | Delgado | Hofmann is highly recommended. They can guide you through the process, help accurately estimate the value of your claim, and advocate for your best interests. Our personal injury lawyers have offices in Sarasota and Bradenton. Do not hesitate to reach out to us about the value of your claim!