If you’ve been injured due to someone else’s harmful actions, whether they were intentional or not, you are entitled to sue for damages. On the most basic level, this will involve medical bills, wages lost due to not being able to work, or damage to your property. However, your degree of pain and suffering may also warrant a higher degree of compensation.
If you or a loved one has been injured, be sure to act quickly, collecting any necessary police reports and medical documentation, and contact an attorney to help you with your case.
Pain and suffering can result from a number of traumatic events. These may include:
- Being involved in a car accident
- Being robbed
- Witnessing a violent crime
- Witnessing the death of a loved one
Injuring yourself under any circumstances can cause plenty of anguish, but being injured by the negligent act of another and knowing it didn’t have to happen can be especially devastating. Keep reading to learn about the types of pain and suffering, what causes it, and what you can do if you’ve bee injured.
The Types of Pain and Suffering
Generally, pain and suffering is broken down into two categories, physical pain, and mental pain. You can suffer one or the other or both at the same time.
The definition of physical pain and suffering according to the law includes the follow-up complications from the injury. This could include pain that one suffers during physical rehabilitation as well as from the physical setbacks that result from not being able to partake in certain activities and routines due to the injury.
Mental pain and suffering is more complicated to prove in court, but it is still considered a legitimate means to claim damages in Florida. Mental or emotional pain and suffering involve the negative emotions that follow an injury. These can include:
Any of these can be immediately apparent after the injury or they can become long-term conditions that develop over time as a result of no longer being able to enjoy the lifestyle, hobbies, or activities you once had.
The Types of Accidents That Can Cause Pain and Suffering
The following two types of negligent acts are common reasons for pain and suffering damages. If you’ve been involved in a traumatic event and you are suffering as a result, don’t be afraid to seek professional help from a mental healthcare professional
A high number of personal injury lawsuits in Florida involve car crashes. Pursuant to state law, a person is considered to have incurred pain and suffering if they died, lost certain bodily functions in a significant or permanent way, suffered a permanent disability, or endured scarring or other types of permanent disfigurement.
It can be very difficult to claim pain and suffering in car crash lawsuits, so you may want to reach out to an experienced attorney before you try to claim this type of damages.
In Florida, individuals cannot sue their doctor for emotional pain or suffering. Rather, such damages must be limited to demonstrated harm that was incurred due to medical malpractice.
While doctors may make mistakes sometimes, medical malpractice is a different type of lawsuit. If medical malpractice-related harm is demonstrated in court successfully, it can yield damages awarded for associated pain and suffering.
According to Florida law, there is a $500,000 upper limit on damages that can be awarded in medical malpractice cases. However, overall, there is no upper limit on personal injury damages in Florida.
About Emotional Suffering Lawsuits
Under Florida law, emotional suffering usually must involve physical harm in order to claim damages, with the exception of being physically accosted during a crime such as a robbery, swallowing a foreign object, or witnessing the death of a family member due to a crime or accident.
Another example of emotional pain could be the harm that is caused by a confidential caregiver divulging sensitive personal information, such as a trauma therapist revealing an individual’s past traumas to a third party.
Important Time Limitations to Consider
Time is of the essence when it comes to legal action in any state. In Florida, from the date of the accident in which your injuries were sustained, you have a four-year statute of limitations during which you can file a lawsuit. Suits against the government must be filed within three years, while legal action regarding wrongful death must take place within two years.
Once the statute of limitations is up, it is highly unlikely your case will be heard by the court.