Sustaining serious injuries is enough to threaten most people’s financial security. In fact, roughly two-thirds of all bankruptcy petitioners cite health issues as the driving force behind filing.
In addition to mounting medical bills, devastating injuries can lead to lost wages, not to mention the need for various replacement services. Thankfully, all such damages may be recoverable.
If you were hurt through no fault of your own, you may be entitled to compensation for the associated losses. In Florida, personal injury claimants may seek funds for both their economic and non-economic damages, including:
- Health care expenses;
- Home care;
- Lost income and benefits;
- Loss of future earnings;
- Property repairs;
- Alternative transportation;
- Reasonably necessary home and vehicle modifications;
- Domestic help;
- Child care;
- Emotional distress;
- Loss of enjoyment in life; and
- Pain and suffering.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the incident in which you were hurt, you may also be entitled to a punitive award. Whereas compensatory damages aim to reimburse plaintiffs for the actual losses they incurred, punitive damages aim to punish defendants for gross negligence or intentional misconduct. They also aim to deter such behavior in the future.
In Florida, punitive awards are generally capped at $500,000 or three times the total compensatory damages, whichever is greater. If the defendant’s conduct was motivated by financial gain, however, the cap jumps to $2 million or four times the total compensatory damages. And if the defendant intentionally caused the plaintiff harm, there is no cap.
It’s important to note that no matter the circumstances, you won’t be able to recover a punitive award if the defendant is a government entity.
How Can I Prove the Severity of the Damages I Incurred?
You may only recover compensation for losses that you can prove you actually incurred. As such, it’s important to track your damages diligently. This will allow you to pursue the maximum payout possible.
When it comes to proving the extent of your economic damages, you may need to present:
- Medical records;
- Hospital bills;
- Pharmacy receipts;
- Copay invoices;
- Tax returns;
- Bills, receipts, and invoices for relevant replacement services; and
- Quotes for any essential home or vehicle modifications.
As for proving the extent of your non-economic damages, you can use:
- Photographs of any visible wounds;
- Diagnostic images;
- Personal injury journal entries;
- Statements from friends, loved ones, and colleagues;
- Statements from your health care providers; and
- Statements from relevant experts who can speak on the ways in which your condition will impact your everyday life.
Call (727) 821-1500 for a Free Consultation with a Personal Injury Attorney
To find out if you have grounds for a personal injury claim, contact Emerson Straw PL. Our compassionate team will conduct a thorough investigation into the accident in which you were hurt to help you determine how best to proceed.
We have recovered more than $27 million for clients in personal injury and wrongful death cases. Call (727) 821-1500 or fill out our Contact Form to schedule a free consultation with a personal injury lawyer.