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Understanding Your Potential Recovery in A Personal Injury Suit

Oldham & Smith Jan. 17, 2017

If you have been injured in an accident, you may need to file a personal injury lawsuit to hold the guilty party responsible and be compensated for your injuries. It is likely that you are not eager to go to court. However, this may be your best chance to cover your medical expenses and be able to afford a new life with long-term or permanent injuries. If you are considering a personal injury suit, learn more about the damages you can seek:

Compensatory Damages for Monetary Losses

When you have been injured due to someone else’s carelessness or reckless behavior, you at least expect to be reimbursed for your actual expenses. Compensatory damages for monetary losses do just that – they compensate you for the money you have lost due to your injuries. These economic damages must be based on hard facts, such as bills and receipts. However, they can also be future-looking so they may be estimated. You can seek reimbursement for:

  • Current and future medical expenses;

  • Costs associated with living with a disfigurement or disability;

  • Lost wages; and

  • Reduced earning potential.

Compensatory Damages for Noneconomic Losses

After being injured in an accident, your suffering is not all financial. You may still be in a great deal of physical pain as well as emotional turmoil. For traumatic injuries that led to disability or disfigurement, your suffering may be profound. You deserve to be compensated for your pain, suffering, and emotional distress as well as your actual financial losses.

Punitive Damages

Punitive damages are not meant to compensate you for your injuries. Instead, they are meant to punish the other party for their wrongdoing. In general, punitive damages are not allowed in Florida. However, you can argue they are appropriate based on the other party’s intentional misconduct or gross negligence, which means the other party acted in reckless disregard of your life or safety.

Damages Caps

Florida does not place a maximum cap on most personal injury damages except for punitive damages. However, if your claim is based on a medical malpractice claim, certain legal damages caps may apply to your situation.

Comparative Negligence

If an insurer or court finds that you are partially responsible for your injuries, the amount you can recover in damages is reduced. Even if you are mostly responsible, this does not prohibit you from recovery. It just greatly diminishes the compensation you receive. You will only be granted damages proportional to the other party’s fault. For example, if you and the other party are deemed equally at fault, you will receive 50 percent of your economic and noneconomic damages. Or if you are only 10 percent at fault and the other party 90 percent, then you will receive 90 percent of your calculated damages.

Contact Oldham & Smith Today

If someone else caused you to be hurt in an accident, contact the experienced Florida personal injury attorneys of Oldham & Smith. We understand how difficult it can be to handle the medical bills following an accident and to get back to work if the accident led to a disability or disfigurement. We will tenaciously represent you and help you handle the insurance claims and legal process to ensure you have the highest likelihood of recovering fair compensation.