How Do Florida Juries Determine Pain and Suffering Awards?
We often are asked by clients how the jury in a Florida personal injury lawsuit goes about determining the amount of damages that will be awarded in connection with a client’s pain and suffering as a result of injuries caused by someone else’s negligence. This is a very relevant consideration, given that you need to know what to expect if you are injured and you will be seeking compensation for those injuries. The compensation you seek will not only be for the tangible and out-of-pocket expenses and losses you have incurred, but also for your pain and suffering as a result of an incident. Will a jury of six men and women award you a small or large sum of money for the pain and suffering that you experience through no fault of your own? This is an important consideration when determining whether to accept a settlement offer at mediation or go to trial in a case. Such an important decision cannot be made without having a realistic view as to the value of your pain and suffering claim.
There are no hard and fast rules that apply to the awarding of non-economic damages in Florida personal injury lawsuits. It is completely up to the jury’s discretion as to how much or how little they will award you for your pain and suffering resulting injuries sustained due to someone else’s negligence. Thankfully, however, there are guideposts that can help you to determine what the value of your non-economic damages claim may be. Experienced Florida personal injury lawyers often will be able to evaluate a case or to read a jury and know what types of evidence to present to ensure that an injured client receives maximum compensation in the form of non-economic damages.
Damages Available in Florida Personal Injury Lawsuits
Under Florida law, every victim who has been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence is entitled to be made whole for his or her losses. This includes fixed amounts like how much it cost to fix the person’s car or the two weeks of work the person missed for medical treatment or how much that medical treatment cost. This includes the non-economic damages, more commonly known as pain and suffering. This measure of damages is meant to compensate someone for what they have gone through as a result of their injuries. However, pain and suffering cannot be so easily quantified like the amount of money that someone has incurred in medical bills.
How Are Pain and Suffering Awards Determined by Florida Juries?
There is no definitive rule for how juries determine pain and suffering awards. There are no caps on the pain and suffering available in Florida personal injury cases. This is for a reason. It lets the six men and women on the jury determine the appropriate amount of pain and suffering for each individual personal injury claimant. Only they are in the position to determine what amount of money would compensate an injured person for the injuries they have suffered.
Pain and suffering awards are more of an art than a science; ask for too much as an injured person and you can appear greedy and lose credibility with the jury. Don’t ask for enough and you may make your client’s injuries seem less serious than they actually are. Instead, a skilled attorney will present a convincing case as to their client’s injuries by presenting relevant evidence: how their injuries have affected their quality of life on a daily basis, what the person can no longer do that he or she used to enjoy, what daily activities the person may now need help with or have become more difficult to perform as a result of those injuries, what medical treatment was necessary as a result of those injuries, to name a few examples.
Ways That Defense Attorneys Will Try to Attack The Value of Your Pain and Suffering Claims
Defense attorneys also will try to minimize an injured person’s pain and suffering and make it seem like it is not that bad. It’s easy for a defense attorney with no permanent injuries or impairments to say anyone could permanently walk with a limp or use a wheelchair. However, there are many ways to successfully counter this narrative and an experienced Florida personal injury attorney will be able to successfully refute such attacks. In addition, these attacks often simply fall flat; for the defense attorney to accuse the victim of faking the seriousness or scope of his or her injuries often does not come across well to juries.
Contact the Experienced Personal Injury Attorneys of Schwed Adams & McGinley
When you or a loved one suffers a serious injury due to someone else’s negligence, you need legal assistance you can depend on to help you recover maximum compensation for those injuries. The experienced, skilled Florida personal injury lawyers at Schwed, Adams & McGinley, P.A. are adept at handling even the most complex personal injury claims. Our attorneys have more than 150 years of combined experience in personal injury litigation. We have experience working with clients who have suffered all different sorts of injuries in different scenarios. We routinely face defense attorneys who try to keep our clients from receiving the amounts they are entitled to in pain and suffering as a result of someone else’s negligence. Call us today at 877.694.6079 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org at to speak with an experienced personal injury lawyer today.