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As a Florida car crash victim, can I sue for pain and suffering?

If you suffer a personal injury in an auto accident caused by a negligent driver in Lake County, FL, you could be entitled to compensation for the medical expenses, lost wages and other monetary damages you are forced to incur. The types of damages that a car accident victim may recover, and the conditions that must be met in order to recover them, are governed by Florida law. This includes the right to compensation for pain and suffering.

Unlike other types of damages for which a victim can show receipts, cancelled checks, pay stubs and invoices, pain and suffering is difficult to quantify. This not only makes them difficult to prove in court, but, from the perspective of the defendant, they can be difficult to defend against. This is why Florida has specific rules pertaining to the recovery of pain and suffering damages.

According to the statute, a person injured because of another individual's negligence may recover damages for pain and suffering, mental anguish and inconvenience. Recovery is limited to cases in which a car accident victim or, in the case of death, the victim's family can prove that he or she suffered from:

  • Death
  • Permanent and significant scarring or disfigurement
  • A permanent injury
  • Permanent loss of a limb or important bodily function

The law gives a defendant the right to file a motion with the court asking it to review the pleadings and evidence prior to the trial to determine if the victim will be able to meet his or her burden of producing evidence to prove the claim. If the victim is unable to meet this burden, the court may dismiss that portion of the lawsuit seeking compensation for pain and suffering.

Proving your entitlement to compensation for car accident injuries is a complex area of the law. This post is an overview that is not intended or offered as legal advice. If you have been injured in a car accident, you should seek the advice of a personal injury attorney for answers to your questions and concerns about your right to compensation.

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