If you’ve been seriously injured, one of the questions you might have are about your recoverable damages. These include a number of factors and a personal injury attorney would be able to sit down and go over exactly what you’re looking at.
Recoverable Damages | Medical Bills
As an experienced Tampa Personal Injury Lawyer I am often asked if there is a minimum amount of medical bills one needs for a personal injury claim. That’s an interesting question. There are basically two types of damages. There are economic damages which are medical bills and wage loss, and then there are non-economic damages which are things like pain and suffering, mental anguish, inconvenience, disability or impairment, and loss of the ability to enjoy life’s pleasures. We look at both types of damages in evaluating a claim. We look at the economic damages, the medical bills and the wage loss, and we also look at the non-economic damages; what is the effect that these injuries and this accident happen on the accident victim?
One of my largest cases had $14,000 in medical bills, and there was not really any long term future medical care that looked like would be needed, but the individual had an inner ear problem that kept them from working as an auto mechanic and really affected their entire life. Despite the fact that there was only $14,000 in medical bills, that case went to trial and settled for multimillion dollars, so there’s not really a minimum of amount of medical bills before one should look at filing a claim.
Recoverable Damages | Emotional Distress
As an experienced Tampa Personal Injury Attorney I am often asked about emotional distress. In most cases, one of the potential elements of damages is mental anguish or emotional distress. There are a few causes of action where emotional distress is not available in some wrongful death cases and in some injury cases involving maritime or admiralty law or even Federal Employers Liability Act (FELA), a railroad worker hurt on the job. There are situations where emotional damages may not be available to let’s say family members, spouses, children, but for the most part, emotional damages or mental anguish is available.
One of the things you should understand about mental anguish is that some people may have prior treatment with a psychologist or a psychiatrist, and what the defense attorney will try to do is bring up that prior treatment with a psychologist or a psychiatrist to basically claim that your emotional problems, your mental anguish, are really preexisting. They’re just problems that you had prior to this accident, prior to your injuries, and sometimes the effect of that prior psychological or psychiatric treatment can impair your ability to get a fair shot at trial. Sometimes your attorney may discuss with you the possibility of dropping your mental anguish claim in order to keep the psychological or psychiatric records out of evidence, which will oftentimes benefit you in the prosecution of your case.
If you would like to discuss your recoverable damages, please call our Tampa personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation.