Learn the Compensation Available to Victims and Their Families
After an accident, you need to make sure that you will recover for all of your accident-related damages. After you have settled or have a court verdict in your personal injury claim, you will not have another chance to recover for damages. If you miss the opportunity to recover for all of your damages, this “lost” money may haunt you for months, years, or even the rest of your life.
The Fort Myers personal injury lawyers at Spivey Law Firm can help you be sure that you’re recovering all of the damages to which you’re entitled. Below, we discuss the various types of damages that may be available in your personal injury claim.
There are several types of financial damages to which you may be entitled:
You may recover for the cost of all medical expenses, including all current and future costs of treatment, testing, diagnoses, surgeries, procedures, rehabilitation, and therapy for all of the injuries you sustained in the accident.
You are also entitled to recover for your non-medical expenses. This includes everything that your injuries prevent you from doing, such as transportation costs, prescriptions, or the cost of hiring someone to perform your household chores.
Loss of Income and Benefits
You are entitled to recover for lost income and lost benefits, which includes all types of compensation that you would have received if you had not been injured. For example, lost salary, wages, tips, commissions, retirement contributions, stock purchases, vacation days, personal days, and other benefits can all be recovered.
Loss of Earning Capacity
If your injuries are such that you will not be able to work in the future, you may recover compensation for your lost future earning capacity. This is also true if you will be forced to pursue a lower-paying job due to an injury-related disability.
There are also several types of non-financial damages to which you may be entitled:
Pain and Suffering
Pain and suffering is the physical or emotional distress resulting from an injury. This includes the physical pain, both short- and long-term, that you must endure as a result of your injuries. It also includes the immediate and long-term anguish caused by your injuries. The agony of not being able to perform the tasks you had previously performed, reduced physical abilities, the loss of independence to perform activities, and the stress and anxiety caused by the trauma of the accident all contribute to pain and suffering.
Survivors are entitled to recover past and future damages for mental anguish and other emotional damages caused by the injuries, and the impact on your life.
If your injury results in scarring or disfigurement, including any scarring resulting from surgeries necessary to treat your injuries, you are entitled to recover for those damages. Scars have a physical component and an emotional component. Many people are self-conscious of scars. Some scars are even more devastating when they are located on a person’s face or an area of their body readily visible to others. Scars can also cause physical pain and irritation.
Loss of Your Enjoyment of Life
You may also be able to recover for the loss of your enjoyment of life that your injuries have caused, aside from recovery for rehab, therapy, and other forms of emotional recovery treatment.
Loss of Consortium, Companionship, and Support Provided
You are also entitled to seek recovery for loss of consortium, which is the loss of the love and intimacy between spouses, the loss of companionship and affection, and the loss of support provided, such as handling household chores, providing parenting time and support, and providing household duties support.
It takes an experienced personal injury lawyer to put into monetary amounts the damages. The Fort Myers personal injury lawyers at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. are experienced and will fight to get you every dollar you are entitled to receive.
Punitive damages are awarded in addition to actual damages in certain circumstances. Punitive damages are considered punishment and are typically awarded at the court's discretion when the defendant's behavior is found to be especially harmful. Under Florida law, punitive damages are generally limited to three times the amount of compensatory damages, or up to $500,000, whichever is greater, though there are some exceptions.
When recovery depends on “the court’s discretion,” it takes experienced attorneys, like the Fort Myers personal injury lawyers at Spivey Law Firm to ensure all punitive damages you are entitled to will be recovered.
About Wrongful Death Cases
Unfortunately, accidents sometimes result in the death of a loved one. In these types of cases, we will file a wrongful death claim on your behalf. In Florida, there are special rules in the form of jury instructions regarding the determination of damages. These rules allow:
- The value of support and services the deceased person had provided to the surviving family member,
- The loss of companionship, guidance, and protection provided by the deceased person,
- Mental and emotional pain and suffering due to the loss of a family member, and
- Medical or funeral expenses any surviving family member has paid for the deceased person.
The deceased person's estate may also recover certain types of damages. These include:
- Lost wages, benefits, and other earnings, including the value of lost earnings that the deceased person could reasonably have been expected to make if he or she had lived,
- Lost "prospective net accumulations" of the estate, or the value of earnings the estate could reasonably have been expected to collect if the deceased person had lived, and
- Medical and funeral expenses that were paid by the estate directly.
Wrongful death cases are, of course, particularly difficult on surviving family members. Our Fort Myers personal injury attorneys understand what you’re going through and will treat you and your claim with kindness and compassion.
About Personal Injury Settlements
After an injury or the death of a loved one, you have a right to file a lawsuit for the recovery of damages in the form of financial compensation for your injuries and related losses. This process will lead to either a settlement or a trial. Regarding settlements, a substantial amount of claims result in a settlement.
Most often, insurance companies are involved in these types of lawsuits. Our attorneys are experienced at negotiating with insurance companies and will gather all of the evidence available to show the severity of your injuries and losses to increase your bargaining power. When insurance companies feel that your case has a good chance of succeeding at trial, they will often agree to settlements favorable to you, the plaintiff. However, if negotiations fail to provide you with a fair settlement, our experienced litigation attorneys will take your case to trial.
Let a Fort Myers Personal Injury Attorney Handle Your Personal Injury or Wrongful Death Claim
If you or a loved one were in an accident that resulted in injury or even death, we understand what you’re going through. Randall L. Spivey at Spivey Law Firm, Personal Injury Attorneys, P.A. has a team that is experienced in personal injury, wrongful death, and litigation. We will fight for your rights. Contact us online or call us at (239) 337-7483 or statewide (888) 477-4839.
More Helpful Information
Florida is ranked as one of the most dangerous states in which to drive so it is important to be prepared for the possibility of being in an accident.