I’m going to talk about whether you have the right to recover compensation for pain and suffering if someone else’s carelessness caused your injury.
Pain and suffering is generally the biggest thing component of an injury case of damages that you can recover that people do not know. Insurance adjusters and insurance companies use a range for your value of pain and suffering. Let’s say for example, I’m just throwing this example out, let’s say in Florida you have a herniated disc, someone else’s carelessness caused your injury the accident, let’s just assign 25 to 50 thousand for the pain and suffering component of the claim. Insurance companies are going to use a range they’re not just going to say your pain and suffering is worth 30thousand, they’re going to have a range which because this is not an exact science and they need wiggle room to settle the case. Again this entire video applies if someone else’s carelessness caused your accident for the most part.
Now understand that if you are left with the serious resultant disability essentially your disability is higher generally speaking the full value of your pain and suffering is going to be larger. Full value means the pain and suffering value of your case without reducing it for any other factors. The more treatment that you get medical treatment that you receive the full value of your pain and suffering is going to be higher. Now pain and suffering is designed to be fair based on all the evidence. It’s designed to get you back to the place where you were before the accident and make you whole.
Pain and suffering is often the largest part of a settlement in many cases. For example, I settle a case for $445,000 when a motorcyclist was hit by a truck in Miami. Florida and his medical bills that we actually had to pay back at the end of the case were about $40,000, plus or minus so the rest of the money went to pain and suffering somewhere around—he received about $400,000 my client for pain and suffering part of the settlement. But just understand that pain and suffering can all oftentimes be larger than the amount of your out-of-pocket medical bills and lost wages.
There’s a higher chance that your case settles if your estimation, your calculation of your pain and suffering is correct. Keep in mind you’re going to add on your pain and suffering to your out-of-pocket medical bills in Florida and lost wages and arrive at the full value of your damages. The insurance company, your claims adjuster can use mortality tables and the jury can use these also to determine how long you’re expected to live and award you pain and suffering for both the future and the past. So, generally speaking, all things equal someone who’s older and has a bad injury is going to get less money for future pain and suffering than a child or someone who’s younger because the person who’s younger has a much longer time that they’re expected to live and they’re going to endure more pain and suffering in the future assuming all things equal and assuming they’re badly hurt.
Insurance companies look at past jury verdicts in the area that you were injured and in the state that you are injured in order to determine what’s fair for pain and suffering. They particularly look at that pain and suffering component of what the jury awarded and keep in mind the late trend which didn’t use to exist years ago is that juror insurance companies also look at their past settlements. So, not just jury verdicts but also past settlements. If you want to find out jury verdicts the most accurate way to do this is to subscribe to jury verdict service where you pay a monthly fee which is generally much less than if you do itemized my searches and pay a one-time fee it can get very expensive.
You should be looking up jury verdicts for the same injury that you had. Find the high ones send those high ones to the insurance company. Show them that you know what you’re doing and that the amounts for pain and suffering are higher than what they are factoring into your case and offering. The more experienced they believe that you are I think all things equal the higher chance you have of getting more money for your pain and suffering because you seem prepared and knowledgeable.
Now throughout the Internet you may be able to find out amounts that attorneys feel that certain cases are worth or certain injuries are worth for the pain and suffering component of your case. Understand that these amounts are just starting point they depend by state by state I would not use this notion that you read about on the internet where the value of pain and suffering is worth a certain multiplier of your medical bills meaning you get your medical bills and multiply it by a certain number. Particularly in Florida you’re only entitled to recover your out-of-pocket medical bills.
The first question is all these sites that talk about using a multiplier, are they talking about multiply your total medical bills or your out-of-pocket medical bills? There’s also many other issues—I already talked about that you need to add in the pain and suffering component of your case to the out-of-pocket medical bills in Florida and lost wages that just gets you to the full value of your case.
But one of the reasons why cases are so different meaning someone can have a shoulder fracture or surgery another can person can have the same shoulder fracture with surgery and one person can get a 50% of what the other person gets or 25% or 75% resulting in a lot of money less is because you have to factor and other facts that affect the value of your case.
One of them for example is if you’re at fault. In Florida the value of your case is reduced by your percentage at fault. So, let’s assume you have a shoulder fracture with $35,000 and assume the pain and suffering components worth $35,000 of a shoulder fracture—if you were 50% at fault you slipped and fell or you were in an intersection accident it’s difficult for you to prove fault, you need to slice that value that value down by half or by whatever percentage that you’re at fault. Let’s say you have a tear and the insurance company or the MRI is saying that it wasn’t necessarily caused by the accident although it may have been aggravated by the accident or worsened by the accident you need to factor in the chance that a jury believes or insurance adjuster thinks that you’re not going to receive the full value of the pain and suffering because there’s a chance that you can’t prove that it was directly related to the accident.
So many factors those are just two out of literally over a hundred that can affect the value of your pain and suffering. So, just because your friend Joe gets $50,000 for his shoulder fracture doesn’t mean you’re going to get the same amount. A huge thing to note in Florida auto accident cases and I mean most auto accident cases but not all you need a doctor to say you have a permanent injury in order to get even one penny for either past pain and suffering or future pain and suffering. That means that the doctor does not say you have a permanent injury most but not all Florida auto accident cases you’re not entitled to one cent for past pain and suffering or future pain and suffering even if your doctor does say you have a permanent injury keep in mind that any insurance company or defendant can hire their doctor to either examine your medical records or examine you or both. Oftentimes they say that your injury is not permanent, that it’s an old injury and it’s not related to the accident, etc. Understand that if that happens the insurance company will generally reduce the value of your pain and suffering and your entire case by the percentage chance that they think that you won’t be able to prove that your injury was caused by the accident—the permanent injury.