There are two broad categories of damages that can be recovered in personal injury cases: economic and non-economic.
Economic damages are represented by financial losses that would not have occurred but for the injury, such as past and future medical expenses, lost wages and loss of earning capacity. Non-economic damages are represented by nonfinancial losses that would not have occurred but for the injury, such as past and future pain and suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, disfigurement, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life, etc.
Under the Florida law, car accident victims must meet a personal injury threshold requirement to be entitled to pain and suffering damages – their injuries must be permanent, or they lost an important bodily function, or sustained significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement or death. Generally, a determination of permanency is made by a treating physician once a patient reaches the point of maximum medical improvement (MMI), unless the injuries are severe, there are fractures or extensive scarring. The disability determination is represented by a percentage rating, which in most cases determines the settlement value of the case.
If the treating physician does not find that the patient sustained a permanent injury that meet the threshold requirement, the car accident victim’s damages will be limited only to out-of-pocket medical expenses and lost wages.
The permanency threshold requirement applies only to injuries received in a motor vehicle accident. There is no such requirement in slip and fall accidents, dog bites, motorcycle, bicycle and pedestrian accidents.
The injured person has the burden of proving his or her damages. The victim’s financial recovery is dependent upon the necessary and adequate documentation to prove the value of damages that are being sought. At Anna Handy Law Firm, P.A. we work closely with our clients every step of the process to ensure that they not only receive maximum medical recovery, but also to build up proper medical documentation to obtain maximum financial recovery for our clients. If you have been injured in an accident that was not your fault, please give us a call for a free non-obligation consultation. (386) 248-3000.