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Pain and Suffering Settlements: What You Need to Know

After getting into an auto accident, Florida law grants you the right to seek compensation for the damages you sustained. It can be an economic type of compensation, such as recovering the financial costs of your medical appointment or injury treatment. It can also be the non-economic kind, such as seeking pain and suffering damages caused by the accident.

If you are a victim of a car accident that left you physically or mentally injured, you are entitled to damage compensations, like pain and suffering. All you need is an expert personal injury lawyer in Broward County to get you the settlement amount that you deserve. 

In this article, we will talk about the pain and suffering damages and the important things you need to know during a settlement.

What Constitutes “Pain and Suffering"?

“Pain and suffering” refers to a legal term mainly used in personal injury law to denote the physical, mental, and emotional injuries of the victim caused by the accident itself. There are two different types of this:

Physical Pain and Suffering

This involves the personal injuries and physical pain you acquired following an accident caused by someone’s negligence. It also includes the pain and discomfort you’ll be experiencing in the future as a consequence of the accident.

Generally, conditions and injuries that qualify as pain and suffering are permanent and/or chronic. Some examples include:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Whiplash or migraine
  • Broken bones, slipped disks, and dislocation
  • Pulled muscles, torn ligaments, or back strain
  • Nerve injury or damage
  • Injury to the neck, face, teeth, and mouth
  • Other types of injuries that limit your ability to perform basic activities

Mental Pain and Suffering

On the other hand, mental or emotional pain and suffering refer to the chronic psychological distress the victim experiences. Furthermore, this mental anguish may also result from the accident itself or the injuries you attained. It does not only include the mental suffering of today but also in the future days or years to come. Here are some examples:

  • PTSD or post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Psychological trauma
  • A decline in cognitive health following a traumatic brain injury.
  • Loss, grief, and other forms of emotional distress
  • Anger, worry, and frustration
  • Anxiety, depression, mood swings, insomnia, and sexual dysfunction

What Is the Average Payout for Pain and Suffering Settlement?

Pain and suffering damages are a subjective type of loss, which means it’s a case-to-case basis. Calculating the damages will depend on the facts of the case and specific circumstances, such as:

  • The severity of the injury
  • The age and pre-existing conditions of the victim
  • The cost of medical treatment the victim already received.
  • Other ongoing therapy or rehabilitation that the victim may need.
  • The amount of economic loss endured.

Furthermore, the settlement amount will significantly depend on the injury’s or accident’s effect on your daily activities and quality of life.

Your personal injury attorney can use either of these two methods to calculate pain and suffering damages: multiplier or per diem method.

Generally, the average payout a plaintiff can get for pain and suffering damages is more or less $18,417. However, this can go up to six digits depending on your injury and the lawyer you will hire. 

Additionally, some states impose a damage cap on pain and suffering payout amounts. But in accordance with Florida law, there’s no cap in the Sunshine state unless the lawsuit involves medical malpractice. 

Pain and Suffering Settlement Examples and FAQs

Will you get a larger payout for broken bones than soft tissue injuries?

Generally, yes. Almost half (51%) of car accident settlements had a higher payout when the victim sustained a broken bone. 

For example, you were walking in a grocery store parking lot when a car hit you. You attained bruises in the face and a broken distal leg bone, which did not require any surgeries to treat.

Initially, the defendant’s insurance company will offer a low amount, like $50,000. But with a good lawyer, you can reach a settlement fee of $90,000, wherein 94% pays for the pain and suffering damages.

Do insurance companies pay higher when there’s hospitalization?

Yes. Hospitalization will increase the value of your pain and suffering settlement payout. For example, a car crash resulting in a broken bone that needs surgery and rehabilitation can increase your payout to at least $300,000.

But of course, it will still depend on how your lawyer will use the facts of your case and handle the negotiations.

Can pain and suffering compensation make up the most significant part of your settlement payout?

Yes. With a great car accident attorney, you can receive a settlement wherein 93% of the fee pays for your pain and suffering damages. Only 7% are allocated for out-of-pocket bills and liens.

Does being confined in a wheelchair yield a higher payout?

Yes. The main determiner of your settlement amount is the overall effect of the injury on your everyday life. For example, a fractured leg will get you a high payout but not as high as when your doctor requires you to be in a wheelchair for a few weeks. 

Depending on the facts of the case, your lawyer can get you about $200,000 to $300,000 settlement payout.

Can you still recover pain and suffering damages if you are at fault?

It depends on the state you are in. In Florida, you can still get compensated for pain and suffering damages even if you’re partially at fault. However, the amount is reduced based on the percentage of your fault.

How can you prove your pain and suffering damages in Florida?

Pain and suffering damages may be hard to recover from the insurance company without a competent lawyer by your side. By hiring one, your attorney can help hasten the process of your settlement by submitting proof of your pain and suffering damages. This includes:

  • Medical documents, like prescription, treatment records, psychiatric records, and medical photographs.
  • Doctor’s notes, counselor or therapist’s notes, and personal documentation of the victim’s pain.

Your lawyer can also use testimonies from medical experts and professionals to prove the pain and suffering you’re experiencing.

personal injury lawyer in Broward County

How to Get the Best Pain and Suffering Settlement?

If you have been injured in an auto accident, then you probably suffered from a lot more than just physical pain and financial loss. Get the compensation you deserve by contacting the best no win no fee personal injury lawyer in Florida, Atty. Rafael Gonzalez.

Atty. Rafael A. Gonzalez has been defending and standing up for the rights of car accident victims for more than 20 years now. He started his legal journey in the Public Defender’s Office, earned a position in the County Courthouse, and made his way to become a named civil litigator partner at Freeman, Mallard, Sharp, and Gonzalez law firm.

As a member of the Florida Bar Association, it is his duty to seek justice and fair compensation for you and other victims of auto and motorcycle accidents. Whether you’re an American or Spanish native, Atty. Gonzalez has got your back in this legal battle.

Besides pain and suffering settlement, our car accident attorney in Plantation, also represents victims involved in different types of accidents, such as:

Contact Atty. Gonzalez now to start your free case evaluation or visit his website to ask the attorney about your legal problems and queries. 

rafael gonzales square photo

Meet Atty. Rafael Gonzalez

Attorney Rafael A. Gonzalez received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Miami School of Law. 

While at the University of Miami, Mr. Gonzalez earned a judicial clerk position with the Honorable Judge Shelley Kravitz of the County Court House for Miami Dade County and took part in one of the largest product liability litigation cases in the United States. The case, Engle v Liggett, was against tobacco companies and resulted in a 145 billion dollar award to the plaintiffs. 

Mr. Gonzalez earned his stripes working with firms in Downtown Miami and Hialeah, Florida as a civil attorney. In 2010, Mr. Gonzalez joined forces with other civil litigators as a partner in the law firm of Freeman, Mallard, Sharp and Gonzalez specializing in motor vehicle accidents.

Read more about him here.
April 1, 2022
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