Recovery for Noneconomic Damages
Florida insurance law provides for no-fault coverage of some damages incurred in an auto accident. Generally, such damages are limited to lost wages and medical bills. Under some circumstances, you may be entitled to recover additional money.
Pain and suffering
In addition to economic damages, many victims of auto accidents in Florida suffer noneconomic damages as well. Such pain and suffering can include:
- Limitations on physical activity
- Physical aches and pains
- Emotional distress from scars and disfigurement
- Shortening of life
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium with a loved one (loss of companionship)
Unlike in some other tort-based states, Florida law contains a threshold requirement for recovery of noneconomic damages: the injury must be permanent. A Florida accident attorney can gather the evidence necessary to make a compelling case for recovery of special damages. Permanent injury can include:
- Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function: A complete loss of one of the five senses – touch, smell, sight, hearing and taste – certainly belongs in this category. Other people may be “legally blind” or “legally deaf,” meaning that these people can hear and see, but with a greatly diminished capacity as a result of the accident.
- Wrongful death: Death is the most permanent injury of all, and certainly qualifies as a permanent injury under Florida law.
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability: An expert witness is often needed to review the victim’s case and provide an opinion about the extent of the damage.
- Permanent and significant disfigurement or scarring: It may be up to a jury to draw the line between “normal” and “permanent” scarring and disfigurement.
Contact Florida personal injury attorneys to find out the amount of compensation to which you may be entitled.