The fourth and final element of negligence is damages. Damages is the most intuitive of the four elements because it simply requires that there be some sort of injury to the plaintiff or harm to property. The amount of damages that an individual suffers in accident is determined in dollar amounts and can incorporate a lot of different factors such as medical bills, pain and suffering, loss of income, and lost earning capacity as a result of the injury.
The damages that a plaintiff can recover for medical bills is straightforward, as the dollar amount of the medical bills needed to make an individual whole again is easily determined by looking at what a hospital or doctor charged for your injuries. Pain and suffering encompasses significantly more factors. To avoid being overcomplicated, we will simplify pain and suffering to be both the physical and mental discomfort, anguish, and trauma that accompanies an injury. Per Florida Statute 627.737(2)(b), a plaintiff may recover damages for pain and suffering only in the even that the injury consists in whole or in part of permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability. Lost income, which is money that a person would have been making if not for the injury that prevented them from working, can also be recovered as a part of a plaintiff’s damages.
Person A gets injured by Person B’s negligent driving. A suffers a broken leg from the accident. Assume for this question that Personal Injury Protection (“PIP”) has been exhausted. If, after PIP has been exhausted, A’s medical bills amount to $10,000, A will be able to recover this $10,000 from B. If A also missed two months of work, where he would have made $6,000, then A will be able to recover that $6,000 from B too. Pain and suffering involves more complex calculations so that will be something that an experienced attorney will be able to figure out for their client.
If you or your loved one has been injured in a car accident, call John today at 352-796-1390.