Damages in Tampa pedestrian accident cases are set up in economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages are medical expenses, emotional distress, lost earnings, future lost earnings, and loss of ability to earn. The non-economic damages are pain and suffering and loss of consortium.
A person that has been a victim of a pedestrian accident has the right to seek medical bills, past lost wages, future lost wages, and loss of ability to earn wages. They also have the right to claim pain and suffering; may have the right to claim for their family members for loss of consortium which includes loss of companionship and loss of affection, and there can be claims for psychiatric or psychological trauma.
The person who is injured is responsible for calculating their damages. That is why it is important to have an experienced attorney in these types of matters because they know how to calculate damages in Tampa pedestrian accident cases.
Medical bills are easy to calculate. It is whatever expenses have been incurred in the treatment necessary for the injuries sustained in the accident. The lost wages that are past are easy to calculate; whatever money they should have made but did not because they were not able to work because of the accident.
Future lost income is almost as easy to determine because the person will know how many weeks, months or days they will not be able to work and the amount of money they would make in that regard. What is complicated is the loss of future earnings. This means the loss of money that person could have made because they missed promotions or they would lose some ability to be able to do a portion of their job, and how much that means in long term.
As a point of note, the statute of limitations in Florida is four years for all acts of negligence and intentional torts. Further, Florida does not have a stay until a minor reaches the age of majority for these types of cases.
Pain and Suffering
Another very difficult calculation is pain and suffering; the value of the injury to that individual psychologically or physically; the aggravation associated with a particular injury; various doctors’ appointments; and the stress associated without enough money to pay the bills because they are not working.
Then there is also a derivative claim. These claims are derived from the injury but are possessed by the person’s spouse and children. These injuries are the loss of the companionship of an individual and loss of the services that they render to the household, and are more complicated to calculate.
Punitive damages only take effect when there is evidence to show that a defendant acted with conscious disregard for injury or death. DUIs are the most common charges to produce punitive damages. Punitive damages are very common in intentional torts and in criminal cases, e.g., somebody is driving drunk or drag racing and hits a pedestrian.
Beyond that, it is difficult to assess punitive damages against some that are simply negligent, but that is why the person needs a lawyer who is able to make those calculations and determine whether or not they are appropriate.
Amount of Damages A Person Can Pursue
There are no caps for pursuing damages in Tampa pedestrian accident cases. In certain cases, especially in brain injury cases that result from an impact, claims are in the upper hundreds of thousands, possibly in millions of dollars, if the injured person has a small child. If a young 12-year-old child gets killed walking across the parking lot, what is the value of a 12-year-old’s life? The lost earnings alone, even if he works minimum wage all his life, would be for a million dollars.
There are not really any charts involved depending on the age of the victim but an experienced lawyer will secure the expertise of either a forensic accountant or an actuary to perform an economic analysis to determine lost social security earnings, lost potential ability to earn based on minimum wage calculations over the course of years, and obtaining a present value. The damages of 20 years or 50 years of earnings are reduced down to the values of today.
A person’s ability to collect damages in Tampa pedestrian accident cases is only as good as the assets available to collect. An experienced lawyer can determine what insurance may be applicable, what assets are attachable from the liquidation or to satisfy a judgment, and what potential benefits that may exist, private or public, for the particular injured person in a claim like this.
Importance of a Lawyer
Dealing with the aftermath of a pedestrian accident can be stressful and draining. The pain and suffering a person endures, as well as the material loss that occurs, are hard to deal with alone which is why contacting a lawyer is so important. Working with an experienced lawyer with previous experience pursuing damages in Tampa pedestrian accident cases can help you receive the damages that you deserve.