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Florida’s Personal Injury Damages


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Personal Injury Damages

Under Florida State Statute §766.202(3), if you have been injured in a personal injury accident, which is where the injury occurs to the person, not to property, then you could be entitled to damages. There are multiple different types of damages in the state of Florida: (1) Economic, (2) Non-Economic, and (3) Punitive.[1] The intention of each of the individual damages awarded in a personal injury civil lawsuit or settlement is to attempt to return the plaintiff to the position that he was in prior to the injury occurring, or to make the plaintiff whole.

Economic Damages

Under the statute, economic damages occurs where, “Financial losses that would not have occurred but for the injury giving rise to the cause of action.”[2] Typically, the economic damages are quantifiable because they are comprised of damages like the amount of medical bills, or the hourly wages for lost earnings, and future lost earnings. Even future surgeries or future treatment can be quantified because of the dollar amount put on the treatment itself.  

These economic damages are things like medical bills, lost wages and income, property damage and repair, transportation expenses, home renovations, and any sort of monetary loss that results directly from the accident. Also, if your future earnings were affected by the accident and will be changed permanently due to the nature of the accident or physical characteristics or traits, then that also is included in the economic damages because it is quantifiable.

Finally, where the personal injury damages left a permanent condition, then the claimant could be also entitled to economic damages that result in the use of household services. An example of this would be something like lawn maintenance, disability machines to help aid the claimant in the new lifestyle because of the new permanent injury, housecleaning, nursing, or other maintenance type of related services.

Non-Economic Damages

            Noneconomic damages on the other hand are not so quantifiable because they entail the calculation of things like pain and suffering that are unique to the individual claimant.[3] This includes inconvenience of time to have to incorporate a new treatment into the weekly routine, the gas that one would spend to have to commute to and from the treatment, and any other form of inconvenience that the claimant has to suffer due to the personal injury that was caused to them.

Non-economic damages also include emotional distress. This is the emotional distress of a person who has suffered some form of extreme or outrageous behavior that caused the accident itself.

Also, loss of consortium is another form of non-economic damage, which occurs when the partnership between a husband and wife is affected due to the personal injury that occurred.

Additionally, loss of enjoyment of life is perhaps the harshest the reality of a severe personal injury that causes significant pain and suffering. This can come in the form of both psychologically and physically damaged patients.

Finally, pain and suffering is probably the most basic form of non-economic damages. Pain and suffering is the actual pain and suffering that the claimant could has experienced from the personal injury.

Punitive Damages

            Under Florida State Statute § 768.72, punitive damages are those that are awarded to punish a defendant, typically for grossly negligent conduct.[4] This would include types of claims such as intentional torts, gross negligence, and other forms of conduct which is reprehensible to the public at large. An example of this would be the Actos products liability case, where a jury awarded $6 billion in punitive damages against a pharmaceutical company.[5] There is also a cat placed on the amount of punitive damages that one can receive in the state of Florida. That law is a cap of three times the amount of compensatory damages, or economic damages, that one has gained due to jury award or settlement.[6]

Here at the Orlando Accident Attorney, if you have questions about your personal injury claim please give us a call 407-706-3909.

[1] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0766/Sections/0766.202.html

[2] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0766/Sections/0766.202.html

[3] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/Statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0766/Sections/0766.118.html

[4] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.72.html


[6] http://www.leg.state.fl.us/statutes/index.cfm?App_mode=Display_Statute&URL=0700-0799/0768/Sections/0768.73.html