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How Are Damages Calculated in Personal Injury Lawsuits?

Involvement in a personal injury lawsuit requires the injured party to prove that not only is the other party at fault, but that they have caused financial loss. The money for these losses are referred to as damages. In Florida, when someone is injured due to another persons negligence, the law provides that the injured party can ask to be compensated for damages such as medical care expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering and emotional damages. While damages with a set dollar amount (ex. medical bills) are generally easy to calculate, others such as pain and suffering are more difficult to prove.

Elements of pain and suffering are bodily injuries sustained, mental anguish and loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life experienced, both in the past or to be experienced in the future. Compensation is determined differently depending on the incident. Minor cases are compensated for inconvenience, while more serious cases are compensated for agony and suffering. Although there is no exact standard for measuring these damages, Florida Standard Jury Instruction states, “the amount should be fair and just in the light of the evidence.” For example, medical bills may be covered but what compensation is deserved for the pain of no longer being able to walk on your own again? Two methods are use to calculate such damages, the multiplier method and the per diem approach. The multiplier method requires calculating the actual damages (medical bills, lost wages) by a number, determined by the severity of the injury. When using the per diem approach, a certain amount is assigned to everyday until the injured party is fully recovered.

Determining how much an injured party should be compensated for damages can be difficult, especially when dealing with pain and suffering and emotional damages. If you have been injured in an accident and would like to determine what damages you could receive compensation for, call a Broward personal injury lawyer at 1-833-DARFOOR for a free consultation.

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