Personal Injury Video Law Tip
“Florida does not cap non economic damages. However, if you are involved in a car accident, there is a threshold, what that means is that in order for you to recoup pain and suffering damages, which are non economic damages, a doctor has to say that you have a permanent injury and if you have a permanent injury, the jury can award any amount they want to award for non economic damages.” – Dena Sisk Foman
Additional Information about how Florida courts treat caps for non-economic damages for pain and suffering in auto accidents where you are injured
In order to recover damages, you must win your case, the party you sued must be found liable for your injury (meaning they had all or some part in causing your injury), and a doctor must find that your injury is permanent. Secondly, If you are able to overcome these hurdles, then the jury can award you money for your pain and suffering (damages). The verdict form looks similar to this:
Past medical expenses:________________________
Past Lost Wages: ____________________________
Future Medical expenses: ______________________
Future Lost Wages: __________________________
Past Pain and Suffering: _______________________
Future Pain and Suffering: _____________________
While the out of pocket damages (typically past medical expenses and lost wages) do not determine the amount of pain and suffering damages awarded, must juries do like to award a number that is related to the past damages. In other words, a number like two times the amount of out of pocket damages. In settlements, insurance adjusters typically use the out of pocket damages to determine the settlement value. As a guideline, but not a rule, I have found that most cases will settle somewhere around three times the past medical bills and lost wages in a case with 100% liability.
While nothing prevents a jury from awarding ten times the amount of out of pocket expenses and there is no cap, it is just not done that often. The only way to challenge an award in through an appellate court. In an appellate court, you must prove the settlement was greatly skewed, out of the ordinary, and against the weight of the evidence in your case.
Personal injury law video number 100019: Does Florida cap non-economic damages for pain and suffering in injury car accidents?