The question “what are economic damages in Florida” can be answered by examining the law of damages.
In Florida, there are three different kinds of damages:
Economic damages compensate a plaintiff (injured party) for financial harm caused by an accident. These damages include:
- Past and future medical expenses
- Lost wages and income
- Lost support or services
- Property repair or replacement
Non-economic damages cover an injury victim’s personal, non-financial losses. These damages compensate for a person’s pain and suffering, emotional distress, disfigurement, and loss of consortium/companionship, among other things.
These are distinct from economic damages because they do not have a clear financial value. Nonetheless, the law recognizes that injury victims deserve compensation for them.
Punitive damages are much rarer in personal injury cases. They do not compensate a victim for losses; they punish a defendant for intentional misconduct or gross negligence. These damages also have a higher burden of proof than the damages listed above.
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Common Types of Economic Damages in Florida
Some of the most common types of economic damages in Florida include:
- Hospital and ER expenses
- MRIs, X-rays, CT scans
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation
- Travel costs related to doctor’s visits
- Costs of household services that the injury victim cannot perform
- Lost wages
- Diminished earning capacity
- Property damage
This list is not exhaustive. Any expense an injury victim incurs related to their accident could be an economic damage. These damages can be supported by receipts, invoices, bills, and pay stubs.
How Do Courts Determine How Much Compensation the Injured Party Receives?
Calculating damages can be complicated. In every case, the jury receives instructions on how to calculate the amount of damages. The jury typically calculates damages to compensate the injured party for any loss they have suffered or are reasonably certain to incur in the future.
This means that your attorney needs to present detailed evidence of the harm you have suffered. They can offer receipts, bills, paystubs, and more to show your economic losses. They may also enlist the help of experts to testify about the damages you have or will sustain due to your injuries.
Regardless of how damages are calculated, there will be no damages unless you win your case.
Typically, a personal injury lawsuit is brought using a negligence theory; negligence has four elements:
- The defendant owed you a duty of reasonable care
- The defendant breached that duty
- This breach caused you injury
- You suffered damages
Your attorney must prove each of these elements to recover your economic damages.
What is the Deadline to Pursue Economic Damages in Florida?
There are strict deadlines to bring lawsuits in Florida. These deadlines are referred to as statutes of limitation. The time limit to sue for personal injury cases is generally two years from the date of your accident.
This time limit in Florida used to be four years before the law was updated on March 24, 2023. Thus, if your accident in Florida occurred after that date, you are subject to the two-year statute of limitations. If your accident occurred prior to 3/24/23, you will typically have four years to pursue a lawsuit.
What if the Insurance Companies Try To Blame Me for an Accident?
Florida is a modified comparative fault state. Injury victims can recover damages if they were 50% or less responsible for their injuries. However, these rules will reduce the victim’s damages to account for their share of blame. And if your portion of responsibility exceeds 50%, you’re unable to recover compensation from another party.
Comparative fault can diminish the amount you take home for your economic damages — or bar them altogether. If you contributed to your accident or failed to mitigate your damages, you will likely not receive the full value of your claim. A personal injury attorney can help you challenge any accusations that you caused the accident.
Contact a Miami Personal Injury Attorney for Help
The best way to determine the value of your economic damages is through a free consultation with a Miami personal injury attorney. Your attorney can help you calculate your losses and pursue the full amount of your damages. They can also consult with leading experts to help evaluate your future economic losses.
Working with an attorney is the best way to ensure you receive everything you deserve for your injury claim. Our personal injury lawyers at Shaked Law Personal Injury Lawyers offer a free consultation, so give us a call at (305) 937-0191, or contact our law office in Miami, FL today.