Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in Florida?

April 14, 2022
Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in Florida?

Yes, you can sue for pain and suffering in the state of Florida. Accidents bring forth a big financial burden and may result in a lot of physical and emotional pain and suffering. For that matter, it's only fair for you to be compensated after an accident for the discomfort you have endured due to someone else's negligence. 

What Is Pain and Suffering in a Personal Injury Case?

Pain and suffering generally refers to the physical and emotional hardship one undergoes during and after an accident. Some of the things that fall under the pain and suffering category include:

Physical Suffering

This term refers to the pain and suffering felt by the victim during the accident, which can cause lasting emotional trauma. It also represents the pain and discomfort endured during and after the recovery process. 

Mental Anguish

Accident victims go through a lot as far as their mental state is concerned. They may deal with post-accident trauma, depression, anxiety, insomnia, fear, etc.

Loss of consortium

If the accident resulted in the death of a loved one, then a lawyer can help you seek damages for the pain and suffering that results from grief. This is because you have lost companionship, care, parental guidance, and spousal intimacy, among other things.

Filing for Pain and Suffering in an Insurance Claim

In Florida, you may not be able to recover compensation for pain and suffering via an insurance claim, particularly after an auto accident. The state has no-fault insurance. Therefore, you cannot sue another driver even if they were the one at fault.

Instead, you are to demand compensation as per your Personal Injury Protection (PIP) policy contract from your insurer. According to Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FHSMV), most PIP contracts will pay you back 80% of what you have/will spend on medical bills up to $10,000 and 60% of lost wages. The problem is PIP does not cover non-economic damages, including pain and suffering.

However, if your damages exceed your policy limits or you suffer a serious injury, you can seek pain and suffering awards from the other party. In Florida, per Florida Statutes § 316.027, serious injuries include:

  • Permanent or significant scarring and disfigurement
  • Considerable loss of a bodily function or organ

There is typically no cap on non-economic damages in these types of legal action.

Pursuing Pain and Suffering in a Wrongful Death Claim

If you lost a loved one to a negligent accident, that may be another exception to the no-fault rule. In such a scenario, a personal representative of the decedent's estate can file for a wrongful death case to claim non-economic damages for the surviving family members.

Can You Sue for Pain and Suffering in Medical Malpractices?

In Florida, you can sue for pain and suffering in a medical malpractice case.  According to Florida Statutes § 766.118, there is a $500,000 cap on non-economic damages in a medical malpractice suit.

How Are Pain and Suffering Calculated?

Pain and suffering is a tricky claim to include in your case, as it's relatively hard to quantify. Some of the things we consider include:

  • How the injury has changed your daily activities
  • The pain you endure from your injuries
  • The psychological torture suffered because of the accident
  • The seriousness of your injuries

We can total the pain and suffering endured daily and compare it against how many days it will last, and/or we will work with medical professionals to calculate a reasonable figure.  

What's the Statute of Limitations When Suing for Pain and Suffering in Florida?

According to Florida Statutes § 95.11(3)(a), the statute of limitations when filing a personal injury lawsuit is generally four years, starting from the accident date.

On the other hand, if the accident resulted in a fatality, you usually only have two years to sue, per Florida Statutes § 95.11(4)(d). Your lawyer needs time to gather evidence, build a case, file a claim, and negotiate for a fair deal. So, it's helpful if you enlist our services as soon as possible.

Dolman Law Group Can Help You Pursue Pain and Suffering Damages in Florida

Fighting a personal injury case is not an easy job. It requires extensive resources and experience. Luckily, our team has both, and we can work toward a fair settlement that accounts for your pain and suffering. 

Additionally, we pride ourselves on offering responsive customer care in that your lawyer will always answer your legal questions and advise you where needed. Contact Dolman Law Group for a free consultation.