We cannot say how much compensation you will get for pain and suffering in your personal injury case because the amount will depend on the facts of your situation.
What the Law Means by Pain and Suffering
People use the term “pain and suffering” when talking about money damages in personal injury cases (Florida statute XXXVII.627.737), but they usually do not explain what they mean by those words or how it translates into what you might get for pain and suffering compensation.
Pain is the physical discomfort a person can feel from their injuries beginning at the moment of the accident. The pain can come from medical procedures, like surgeries, or from getting wound dressings changed. If you have to do physical therapy, you will likely endure discomfort during the treatment sessions, when performing the exercises at home, and for long hours or days in-between.
Some people experience long-term or chronic pain for years after a severe injury, like a back injury. If you lose a limb, you can have “phantom” pain. The scar tissue from significant burns can create a lifetime of agony.
Suffering is the emotional distress that can accompany or be separate from physical pain. Examples of “suffering” include:
- Feeling depressed or hopeless because of your injuries.
- Having anxiety about getting well, keeping your job, and paying your bills.
- Worrying about the future.
Everyone’s situation is unique. You might feel all of these things, or only one or two.
Essential Factors of Pain and Suffering
The court will look at several issues when calculating how much you will get for pain and suffering damages, including:
- The severity of your injuries. A person with a sprained ankle will likely get a lower award for pain and suffering than a person who sustained fractures requiring several surgeries and extended physical therapy.
- Extraordinary circumstances. An excruciatingly painful injury (horrific burns over most of the body) or extreme emotional distress (someone got injured in a car accident and watched his child die in the car next to him) can be reasons for a higher damages award.
After we talk with you and investigate your personal injury case, we can begin to calculate a reasonable range of recovery for pain and suffering.
An Explanation of Intangible Damages
“Pain and suffering” is one type of noneconomic loss. These intangible damages, like disfigurement, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and the loss of enjoyment of life, seldom come with invoices or receipts so it can be hard to quantify their value. We know how to determine the fair amount of pain and suffering damages, as well as other noneconomic losses, in a case.
The Montero Law Center is a family-focused personal injury law firm that delivers caring, responsive legal services. We work hard to get our clients all the compensation that they deserve so that they can rebuild their lives.