Personal Injury Damages

How much is a personal injury case worth? The answer lies in calculating the damages. Damages are the term for the sum of money imposed on a person who has committed an act of negligence. The damages are calculated based on the degree of the injuries, whether the injured person faces long-term consequences, and the full scope of the losses they have suffered in the accident. 

Types of Damages Paid in a Personal Injury Claim or Lawsuit

The damages include several types of financial losses that an injured person could be left with after being injured by the negligent actions of another. These include the following losses:

I. Economic Damages.

These damages are the actual financial losses the injured person experiences, including but not limited to:

  1. Medical Bills. The medical treatment needed by the injured person may include medical treatments from surgeons, anesthesiologists, specialists, nurses, hospitals, skilled nursing care facilities, and rehabilitation specialists such as chiropractors, physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech therapists, and others.
  2. Lost Income from Work. If you have been unable to work and earn a living, the value of your lost wages must be calculated. If your injuries are so extensive that you can no longer work in your profession, lost earning capacity is calculated, as well as losses such as retirement benefits you will no longer be eligible to earn.

II. Noneconomic Damages.

These damages are the financial losses that relate to pain, suffering, and life changes resulting from an injury. Noneconomic damages often include:

  1. Pain and Suffering. These damages may be the largest portion of a personal injury settlement or jury award. They are calculated based on your age, the degree of the injuries and the associated pain, the stress and physical discomfort associated with medical treatments, and factors such as emotional anguish, anxiety, stress, and other psychological consequences faced by the injured. If the injury left you with permanent disfigurement, a value is placed on the suffering you will experience.
  2. Loss of Quality of Life. If you can no longer expect to enjoy the quality of life you had before the accident, this issue will be valued in your personal injury claim or lawsuit.
  3. Wrongful Death or Damages for an Incapacitated Loved One. If you have lost a loved one due to another person’s negligent acts and are a close family member such as the deceased’s spouse or child, you have the right to seek “wrongful death” damages. These damages include the pain and suffering experienced by your loved one before death, the medical bills incurred in attempting to help them recover, funeral and burial costs, loss of the income your loved one provided and would have provided over a normal lifetime, and the loss of the care and guidance and support that person provided to you and your family. Loss of consortium damages may be pursued to compensate a spouse for the loss of the physical relationship.

III. Punitive Damages in Personal Injury Cases in Miami and Ft. Lauderdale

Punitive damages may be possible in some cases. These damages are intended to punish the responsible party and as a deterrent to others and are only available in cases where gross negligence or intentional misconduct can be proven by presenting clear and convincing evidence. 

Got questions about what damages you may claim?

How Do I File a Personal Injury Case?

A personal injury case may be filed against the insurance company of the negligent party. The amount of compensation recovered may be limited to the value of the policy. For example, in an auto accident, the responsible driver may not have enough insurance to cover the full value of your losses. In these cases, a lawsuit can be filed to seek further compensation from the individual. 

Filing a personal injury claim is a complex process, and various actions must be taken within the time frame allowed. After an injury, it can be difficult to understand what to do or how to get help. You would be best served to engage a personal injury lawyer to take all the legal actions necessary. At Panzer Law, we are known for our personalized care, the many high-value cases we have resolved successfully, and our dedication to pursuing the maximum in compensation for our clients. 

How Much is My Case Worth?

If you or a loved one was injured due to the negligent actions of another, you have the right to seek compensation. Your case is unique, and the value must be calculated correctly. After an accident, the insurance company of the responsible party is likely to contact you. The agent may advise you that they are there to help you resolve your case. 

The truth is that the insurance company does not represent you. They are acting on behalf of their client, the responsible party. Their goal, no matter how friendly or caring they sound, is typically to convince you to accept a settlement offer that is often far, far lower than you deserve. At Panzer Law, we protect our clients from falling prey to this strategy and deal with the insurance companies ourselves. They know that we understand the true value of a case and that we will be steadfast in demanding a fair level of compensation. 

Why Choose Panzer Law?

If you have been injured due to another person’s negligent actions, you may be facing a future that is changed forever. You may be unable to work for weeks, months, or a lifetime. Our legal team is focused on protecting our clients’ legal rights and seeking a level of compensation that reflects the impact of the injuries on your life and future. 

The Panzer Law Difference

Our founder, attorney Gil Panzer, holds both a law degree and a master’s degree in economics. His depth of understanding of the financial issues in a personal injury case is above and beyond what most lawyers bring to the table. He and his talented legal team provide personal, dedicated service to every client, along with genuine compassion and personal care. Your case matters, and once we take it on, we go the distance and keep you fully informed throughout every phase of the journey to justice.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the most common types of work-related injuries?

An injury can occur in any work environment. Some of the most common types of injuries include slips and falls, strains, lacerations, burns, hearing damage, toxic exposure, vehicle accidents, eye injuries, broken bones, neck, shoulder, or back injuries.

What industries have the highest number of work accidents?

Construction is one of the most dangerous of all industries in America. People who work in this industry face many risks every day. Some of the most common workplace accidents in the construction industry include being hit by falling tools or debris, falls, electrocutions, explosions, burns, machinery accidents, trapped in or between, trench collapses, rollovers, and vehicle accidents, among others.

What benefits are paid after a work-related death?

If you lost a loved one due to fatal injuries sustained at work, you have the right to compensation under Florida’s workers’ compensation law. The benefits paid include funeral expenses up to $7,500 and a percentage of the average weekly wages your loved one earned. These are often complicated cases, and we urge you to speak with our workers’ comp lawyer at Panzer Law at once if your loved one has passed away after suffering a work-related accident. We will fight to ensure your right to compensation is protected.

What should I do if have an accident while on the job?

If you have a work accident…

  • Notify your employer right away.
  • Ask your employer to send you to a doctor.
  • Even if your employer does not send you to a doctor, see a doctor right away to make sure that you are diagnosed and treated, and to ensure that your complaints are documented.
  • Keep records of the expenses you incur as a result of the accident and copies of all paperwork.
  • Speak to an attorney as soon as possible to ascertain your legal rights.
  • Avoid giving an interview to the insurance company adjuster without first speaking to an attorney.

Do I have to file a lawsuit against the employer?

Workers’ compensation cases are filed with the State of Florida Division of Administrative Hearings, Office of the Judges of Compensation Claims.  Your employer at the time of accident will be named as a party, but virtually all employers we file against have workers’ compensation insurance, and the insurance company will be paying your benefits, not your employer.

What should you bring to our first meeting with a workers’ compensation lawyer?

You do not need to bring anything to the meeting. However, it is helpful to bring documentation relevant to your situation. For example:

  • A copy of a document showing the exact name and address of your employer (this allows us to clearly identify the employer involved).
  • Medical records or reports related to your injury (this allows us to identify who diagnosed you and details that may not have been mentioned compared to the information you provided at the meeting).
  • Documents about your salary or other records related to current employment income (these documents are very important in determining the size of each disability check you may receive under workers’ compensation).
  • Information or documentation from your employer’s insurance company (your employer’s insurance company pays your benefits and we file your claim against that insurance company).
  • Identifying information and statements of witnesses who were present at the time of the injury (if there is a dispute about the accident, the witnesses can help us win your case).
  • A list of questions that you have prepared (the attorney will answer your questions at the end of your meeting with the attorney).

Again, you may not have this information when we first meet. We will work with you to find out how to obtain this information if you need it. Due to our extensive experience, our attorneys routinely obtain important documents and materials relevant to your case.

How long can I receive workers’ compensation benefits?

Disability benefits remain while you are recovering from your injury.  Thereafter additional disability benefits are available, and the duration depends on the extent of your injuries.  Medical benefits can be maintained indefinitely with the right strategy. 

How long do I have to report a workplace injury?

You must report the injury or illness to your employer within 30 days of your knowledge of the injury, but with certain exceptions.

What if my employer tries to stop me from seeking benefits?

Your employer must report your injuries, and if he or she fails to do so, could be subject to fines and penalties. While the employer has the right to dispute your claim once filed, they cannot stop you from filing a claim.

How much will I be paid in benefits after a work-related injury?

The benefits paid by the workers’ compensation system in Florida allow you between 64 percent and 66 2/3 percent of your average weekly wage, paid every two weeks.

I filed for workers’ compensation benefits but was denied. What do I do?

It is not uncommon for a workers’ comp claim to be denied. If you received a “Notice of Denial,” it can be a shocking and worrying situation – you need the benefits you are entitled to under the law. If you were denied, our workers’ comp attorneys at Panzer Law can take your case in hand and file a Petition for Benefits.  This initiates the process and typically will lead to what is termed a “mediation conference” to attempt to resolve the dispute, and thereafter a trial before a judge if the dispute is unresolved.  Our legal team can take action on your behalf in this situation.

How long before I get my settlement?

You have the right to reject an offer of settlement that is too low, and our legal team at Panzer Law is here to guide you through this process and will do everything possible to expedite the process.

What if I was partially at fault?

Florida is what is termed a “comparative negligence” state. If you were partially responsible for what occurred, the amount of compensation you are paid would be reduced by the percentage that you are believed to be responsible for.

Will my case go to court?

The vast majority of cases are settled without the need to take it to trial. However, you do want to ensure your workers’ compensation lawyer has trial skills, as this skill set is also needed to prepare a compelling case, present it in mediation or negotiations, and at trial if this is in your best interests. 

I was hit by a drunk driver who did not have insurance – what do I do?

Unfortunately, many drivers are operating vehicles without auto insurance. If the drunk driver has no insurance or is under-insured, a claim can be filed with your own auto insurance provider. Although a lawsuit could be filed to attempt to seek compensation by another method, these negligent drivers often do not have assets that make this approach successful.

Do I have a case?

You may be unsure if you have a right to seek compensation. Take advantage of our free case consultation to find out if your case has merit.

What damages will be paid in my personal injury claim?

Your personal injury claim involves several types of damages, called “economic damages,” which are the financial losses you experienced, and “non-economic damages,” which are more personal and include pain and suffering and loss of quality of life.

How much will it cost to work hire our law firm and when do you pay?

Our firm charges nothing unless we recover benefits for you. In a workers’ compensation case, you pay 30% or less when there is a recovery. The amount is often less because we often recover a portion of our attorney’s fees from the insurance company, sometimes 100%, thereby reducing or eliminating your responsibility for attorney’s fees. In a personal injury case, you pay 33% if the case settles before the defendant files an answer in a lawsuit, or 40% if the case does not settle before the defendant files an answer in a lawsuit.  Costs work the same way, whereby our costs are paid only if we recover benefits for you.  In workers’ compensation cases, we often recover part of our costs, sometimes 100%, thereby reducing or eliminating your responsibility for costs. You pay nothing unless and until we recover benefits for you.

Do I need a lawyer?

While a minor injury could be resolved without an attorney, any case that involves serious injury, catastrophic injury, or loss of life should be managed by a skilled personal injury lawyer.

How much is my case worth?

Every workers’ compensation case is unique. The value will be based on the degree of your injuries, whether they will lead to future challenges, affect your ability to earn a living, require ongoing medical care, and many other factors. To determine the value of your claim will require reviewing your medical condition, valuing the financial losses you have experienced and will experience, and the work restrictions associated with your injuries.

What to expect in our first meeting?

Meeting with a workers’ compensation attorney shouldn’t be an intimidating experience.

Rather it should be useful. In our office, we collect information about your case and help clients to be well informed and comfortable when they come in for an initial consultation. We share important information in at least two ways and develop your case to best handle it for your unique situation.

When you first walk into our office, we’ll sit down and go over the reason for your visit. You will discuss your case with one of our attorneys. If you speak Spanish, you will discuss your case with a Spanish-speaking attorney. One of our staff members will collect information about you and your situation. We will ask you specific questions about your background, your employment, and your injury. Our interview will be extensive and in detail, to obtain the most complete information about your situation. When we are well informed, it allows us to better prepare your case. At the close of the meetings, we may have some tasks for you to do and help us follow up after our meeting, and we will also be running a series of processes after our meeting to start your case as soon as possible.

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