Pain and Suffering: The Role Personal Injury Attorneys Play

Pain and suffering is a legal concept that is defined by the physical pain and mental anguish an individual suffers due to an accident. The accident can involve negligence by a physician, harm due to a product defect or personal injury resulting from a car accident. After an accident, looking beyond the loss of a functioning vehicle and immediate medical concerns is important.

What Is Pain and Suffering?

Pain and suffering has two structural components: Physical pain and mental injuries. Physical pain involves the aches and pains suffered due to the accident as well as the possibility of a shortened life span in some cases. It includes pain that will exist in the future and pain that will exist during rehabilitation. Pain may also limit physical activity, causing inability to do such activities as the individual could in the past or at the same frequency. The mental component of pain and suffering includes depression, embarrassment, fear and anxiety. It can also include feelings of humiliation, anger and possibly post-traumatic stress disorder.

How Is Pain and Suffering Proven?

In order to be compensated for pain and suffering, the victim must prove it exists. This can be done with a physician’s statement or testimony, evidence of prescriptions for the pain or anxiety and statements by the victim or their spouse and loved ones as to the effect the injury had. Once pain and suffering is proven, not awarding compensation is a reversible error and can be challenged.

What Is the Serious Injury Threshold in Florida?

Florida is a no-fault state, and drivers are required to have insurance to cover their medical expenses, lost wages due to an accident and damage to another vehicle involved in the accident. Both have a coverage limit based on individual policies. To go outside the no-fault system, the injury must be serious and meet the serious injury threshold statute. This statute defines serious injury as that which is permanent within reasonable medical certainty. It involves scarring or disfigurement, which are permanent and significant, and loss of bodily function. It also includes death.

What Happens If the Serious Injury Threshold Is Met?

Having met the serious injury threshold, personal injury attorneys can file a legal action against the negligent parties. However, you must be able to prove permanent injury. There are several instances where permanent injury is not required for a part of the pain and suffering award. For instance, if you are injured in a taxi, passenger bus with five or more passengers or mobile home among others, it is not necessary. If such vehicles are involved, you may be able to file for past pain and suffering without proving the injury is permanent and a future pain and suffering award if it is.

What Amount of Compensation Can Be Expected?

The amount is dependent on the seriousness of the injury and the victim’s credibility. There is no hard and fast rule for determining an award for general or intangible damages. For instance, the treating physician’s statement or testimony on the seriousness and permanency of the injury is taken into account as is the victim’s believability. Such factors as whether the victim’s account is consistent and believable is important. The injured person’s character and loss may be established by testimony by others. In Florida, a judge can modify the awarded amount under state statute. However, unless the award is open to dispute, this does not happen often. Both sides can challenge an award.

How Can Personal Injury Attorneys Help?

It takes proof, in most cases, to be awarded damages for pain and suffering. Documentation is essential. Without a careful rendering of that, the claim may be denied. In addition, personal injury attorneys can present expert witnesses to show how the injury caused consequential and permanent harm, both physically and mentally. Your attorney makes sure all necessary components are included. Further, if the settlement is denied or inappropriate for your loss, your attorney can appeal it in court.

If you have suffered a serious injury, you need the help of experienced personal injury attorneys. You can contact the Florida law firm of Kaiser Romanello at 844-877-8679. The attorneys will answer questions and help determine if filing a claim for pain and suffering is possible. If so, the attorneys can start right away to build a case that helps you get the compensation you need. Get a free case evaluation today.