If you were injured due to another person’s negligent actions, you may be able to file a personal injury lawsuit to recover compensation for damages you suffered from your injuries. The types of damages that are available in a personal injury claim can vary depending on the type of case, the injury to the victim, and the laws of the state. Generally speaking, there are two kinds of damages: actual or compensatory damages and punitive damages.
What are Actual or Compensatory Damages?
In Florida, a plaintiff in a personal injury case may obtain actual (compensatory) damages. Compensatory damages are awarded for the loss, injury to a person caused by the negligence of another. The objective of compensatory damages is to make the injured party whole to the extent that it is possible to measure an injury in terms of money. Damages in negligence actions are measured by comparing the condition the plaintiff would have been in had the defendants not been negligent with plaintiff’s impaired condition as a result of the negligence.
What is the Difference Between General and Special Damages?
Actual or compensatory damages are categorized as either general or special. General damages are damages directly caused by the wrongful act or negligence of another. Special damages are those that do not necessarily result from the wrongful act or negligence of another. Under Florida law, special damages consist of items of loss that are specific to the party who suffered the injury or loss.
Medical Expenses: In Florida, damages are awarded if the plaintiff must undergo testing or treatment, or if the plaintiff must receive medical care of any type, such as hospital stays or physical therapy.
Lost Wages: Recovering from an injury often requires time off work. The length of time off typically depends on the type and severity of the injury. Calculating past lost earnings is easy. You simply add up the earnings and employment benefits that you lost from being out of work. If you are fully or partially disabled due to your injury and are unable to work going forward, then you may be able to seek compensation for future lost earning capacity.
Future Lost Income and Earning Capacity: A person who is injured by the wrongful act of another may recover for any loss of time and loss of earnings that result from a temporary incapacity. The measure of the injured person’s loss is the amount that the person would have earned had the person not been injured.
Physical Pain and Emotional Suffering: Injuries cause physical and mental pain, as well as suffering during and after the accident, which are all things you can pursue compensation for. Mental anguish, for which recovery is sought in a personal injury action, is generally considered as pain and suffering and covers not only the pain associated with the injury but also the mental reaction to that pain and to the possible consequences of the injury.
After any type of crash, you should consider talking to a car accident lawyer to learn what your rights and obligations are under the law. Let the personal injury attorneys at Suarez & Montero review the circumstances of your case and discuss your legal options. Our attorneys are ready to provide proven legal representation in pursuing your claim and stand ready to protect your rights.
Contact us today at 786 Lawyers for a free consultation!