Pain and Suffering in Florida Law
Pain and Suffering Attorneys
In Florida Personal Injury Law, ‘pain and suffering’ is defined as the physical, mental and emotional suffering that a person experiences during an injury. Pain and suffering is considered a non-economic damage, difficult to calculate, but with real consequences on a person. Many injury victims develop trauma, depression, or anger problems.
Fortunately, Florida personal injury plaintiffs can pursue compensation for pain and suffering even if there was no economic loss during the injury.
Types of Pain and Suffering
Florida law contemplates two categories of pain and suffering: physical pain and suffering, and mental pain and suffering.
Physical pain and suffering encompasses the pain of the actual injuries a party suffers in addition to any discomfort it causes in their life. This includes future economic losses and detriment to their quality of life.
Mental pain and suffering is more complex. The term refers to the negative emotions that result from an injury (such as distress, fear, humiliation, or anxiety) and the impact they have on the affected party's life. When mental pain and suffering is excessive, it can produce physical effects on a person, such as sleep disturbances, sexual dysfunction, and aggressive behaviors.
How is pain and suffering calculated?
Although pain and suffering is subjective, as each person can react differently to the same situation, some factors help to estimate damages, such as:
- The severity of the injury.
- Need for medical treatment or therapy.
- Permanent impairment as a result of the injury.
- Psychological and social effects on the affected party (e.g., deterioration in family relationships).
- Existence of pre-existing conditions.
- Occupational impact of the injury.
Limitations on pain and suffering claims in Florida
Yes, there are several limitations that you must take into account if you have suffered an injury. The most important one is time—in most cases, you must file the claim within 4 years of the event, starting from the day of the injury. This period is shorter for claims against government entities or wrongful death cases. You should contact an attorney as soon as possible.
Does pain and suffering apply in car accidents?
Florida is a no-fault state, which means you cannot sue the other party, even if they are responsible for the accident. Instead, you must turn to your PIP policy to cover medical expenses and economic losses. In most cases, non-economic damages such as pain and suffering do not apply.
However, if your injury falls into the "serious injury" category, you can file a claim against the responsible driver for damages, including pain and suffering. Under Florida law, an injury is considered serious when there is:
- Permanent and significant loss of bodily function.
- A reasonable degree of medical probability of permanent injury.
- Permanent or significant disfigurement or scarring.
Not sure if the injuries you sustained in a car accident can be considered serious? Contact us and we will gladly review your case. You can also check our Car Accidents FAQ.
Don't wait until it's too late, file a claim today!
Although 4 years may seem like enough time, when you're dealing with the aftermath of injuries, it is not. Your best option is to seek the help of an experienced team of personal injury attorneys. Jason Recksiedler and Caroline Fischer Espi, our personal injury lawyers, are extremely experienced and will handle all the complicated aspects of your case, like paperwork and insurance companies, so you can focus on what matters most: taking care of yourself and your loved ones. Jason is certified as an expert in trial law by the Florida Bar and would be happy to work with you.
Call us today at 321-999-1111 or use the online form located at the top of this page and we will contact you shortly.