There are two types of damages available in personal injury cases in Jacksonville, Florida:
- Non-economic damages
- Economic damages
Non-economic damages are available to compensate Florida victims for:
- Pain and suffering
- Mental anguish
- Loss of enjoyment of life
- Loss of consortium
These types of damages can be recovered at the end of a personal injury lawsuit.
What are the Different Types of Non-Economic Damages?
There are many different types of non-economic damages, including:
Pain and Suffering
Serious injuries can stop victims from enjoying their daily activities due to pain and suffering.
They may struggle with:
- Doing chores at home
- Playing with children
- Doing hobbies
Victims may recover damages for pain and suffering by filing a lawsuit.
Loss of Enjoyment of Life
An injury may prevent people from doing activities that please them, like playing sports or hiking. Victims can file a personal injury lawsuit to compensate for their loss of enjoyment.
Loss of Consortium
When a person suffers an injury, it may cause their loved ones to lose the support and companionship of the person. The family may be able to sue for loss of consortium. Spouses may claim loss of consortium when they can no longer be intimate with their partner.
When victims in Jacksonville, Florida, get into accidents, they may have to spend time making phone calls, sending e-mails, or driving to doctor’s appointments. Floridians can claim compensation for their inconvenience by filing a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible party.
Are Punitive Damages and Pain and Suffering Damages the Same Thing?
No. A victim and their family might be able to recover for punitive damages if a defendant acted intentionally or with malice. Pain and suffering damages may be awarded in virtually any personal injury case, whether or not the defendant acted in such ways.
Punitive damages are usually only awarded in personal injury cases or medical malpractice cases.
How Do Courts in Florida Determine Damages?
It is not easy for courts to determine non-economic damages because these damages do not have a clear economic value. Therefore, courts seek to determine how significantly an injury has affected a victim’s life. Victims who are seriously injured generally receive the largest payouts.
Often, courts will use the “multiplier method” to determine damages. They will select a multiplier from 1.5 to 5, depending on the severity of your injury. Then, the court will multiply that number by your economic damages to arrive at a number for your non-economic losses.
Does Florida Limit Non-Economic Recovery During Personal Injury Cases?
No. Florida state law used to cap non-economic damages at $500,000 in medical malpractice cases. However, the Florida Supreme Court has ruled these caps unconstitutional.
Will I Recover for Non-Economic Damages?
To prove that the defendant was negligent, you must show:
- The responsible party owed you a duty of care
- The responsible party negligently breached that duty
- That breach of duty caused you to suffer damages
Plaintiffs can recover for non-economic damages in many ways, depending on the facts of the case.
How Long Can I Claim Non-Economic Damages in Florida?
The statute of limitations for standard personal injuries in Florida was recently updated. There is a four-year time limit for injuries sustained on or before 3/23/2023, and a two-year time limit for injuries sustained after that date. If you want to recover non-economic damages after a personal injury, such as a dog bite, you need to sue the at-fault party before the deadline passes.
When someone else’s recklessness injures another person and results in death, the victim’s family has until the second anniversary of the incident to start pursuing economic and non-economic damages.
There are exceptions to these deadlines. Contact a personal injury attorney to confirm the appropriate statute of limitations for your situation.