Articles Posted in Damages

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Establishing damages in personal injury cases can be a complicated process. If you or someone you know was injured by someone else’s negligence, you may be able to recover damages. Exact determinations of damages can be tricky, and having the right attorney on your side can make all the difference in your case.

It is important to note that obtaining any sort of compensation typically requires establishing negligence. Negligence is a failure to exercise reasonable care that causes injury to someone else. Reasonable care refers to the standard of care a reasonably prudent person would use in the same or similar circumstances. In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff must show that the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty to use reasonable care, the defendant breached this duty, the plaintiff’s resulting harm was a direct result of the defendant’s breach, and the plaintiff incurred actual damages.

Compensatory damages are awarded to an individual to make the person whole again. Put another way, compensatory damages are meant to restore the plaintiff to the condition in which he or she was before the injury. Compensatory damages refer to both economic and non-economic damages. Economic damages typically include compensation for medical expenses, lost income, impaired earning capacity, property damage, and more. Non-economic damages include losses such as pain and suffering and other forms of mental distress, which can be tough to measure in terms of a monetary amount.

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painNerve damage can have serious consequences, such as pain, loss of feeling, and loss of function. If you or a loved one has suffered a nerve injury in an accident, you should seek the help and guidance of a Miami injury attorney. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, our team will work meticulously to analyze the facts of your case. You can rest assured that we will provide you with competent and compassionate legal advice at every step of the way.

The nervous system is a complex bundle of sensory receptors that play a role in everything the body does. Nerve damage can happen in varying degrees. Nerves can become damaged when nerve fibers are stretched, cut, or otherwise harmed. Autonomic nerves are in charge of basic involuntary functions, such as breathing and heartbeat. Motor nerves control movement by facilitating communication between the brain and the muscles. Sensory nerves convey information about muscles and skin. Since nerves do so many things, nerve injuries can seriously affect our day-to-day lives.

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lawAutomobile accidents, premises liability cases, and other personal injury claims fall within the scope of negligence law. Negligence is the failure to use the level of care a prudent person would use in the same or similar circumstances. In order to establish negligence, a plaintiff must demonstrate that he or she was owed a duty of care by the defendant, that the defendant breached this duty of care, and that the plaintiff suffered harm as a direct result of the defendant’s breach. A plaintiff who can show negligence is entitled to recover compensation for his or her harm.

In the United States, the losing side does not typically have to pay the winning side’s attorney’s fees. Under the so-called American rule, each party pays their own attorney’s fees, irrespective of whether they win or lose, unless there is some contract, statute, or court rule that says otherwise. This permits individuals to file claims without the fear of incurring excessive costs if they lose the case. The American rule is in contrast to the English rule, which mandates that the losing party pay the winning party’s attorney’s fees.

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ambulanceEvery day, people are injured throughout the state of Florida in various types of accidents. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. Calculating damages, however, is not an easy task, which is why it is advisable to consult a qualified Miami injury attorney who can assess the merits of your case.

Individuals can be injured in a variety of ways, including car accidents, motorcycle accidents, truck accidents, slip and fall accidents, pedestrian accidents, boat accidents, and more. Once an injured party has established that the party responsible acted in a negligent manner, the injured victim will need to show damages. Damages refer to all financial and emotional expenses related to an individual’s injuries. If an individual cannot demonstrate financial or emotional costs that were suffered, that individual will not be able to recover any compensation, no matter how negligent the defendant was. Put another way, there has to be harm for there to be a recovery.

Damages in Florida personal injury cases can be categorized into two broad categories:  tangible and intangible damages. Tangible damages, often referred to economic damages, are damages that pertain to quantifiable financial costs. Intangible damages, often referred to as non-economic damages, are those that are psychological in nature and cannot be quantified in the same way that economic damages can be.

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gavelIf you have been injured due to another person’s negligence, you may be able to seek compensation for your injuries. While compensatory damages are awarded quite commonly, punitive damages are much harder to obtain. Punitive damages are only permissible in limited situations and are awarded in a very small percentage of personal injury cases. If you or someone you know has been injured in an accident, it is important to contact a qualified Miami personal injury attorney who can help assess the merits of your case as well as what types of damages you may be eligible for.

Compensatory damages are awarded to make an injured person whole. Thus, compensatory damages include compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, physical impairment, lost income and benefits, property damage, and therapy costs.

Punitive damages are special or exceptional damages designed to punish the offending party for its reckless or careless conduct. The idea is that punitive damages deter others from acting in a negligent manner. Punitive damages are not intended to compensate the injured party. As such, the awarded sum is generally much higher than the measurable value of the harm.

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pumpkinUnfortunately, accidents in stores happen all the time in the state of Florida and across the United States. Stores and other commercial places of business have a legal obligation to ensure that the premises are safe for their customers to enter. If the store fails to keep the property in reasonably safe condition, and a customer is injured on the premises, the owner may be liable for any resulting harm. However, premises liability cases are extremely fact-intensive, and the outcome of the case will depend on the specific circumstances of that particular incident.

In Schwartz v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., the Fifth District Court of Appeals denied a plaintiff’s motion for a new trial after a zero-damages jury verdict. The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff was shopping at Wal-Mart when she was hit in the back by an ornamental pumpkin. According to court documents, the pumpkin in question weighed approximately 8.5 ounces and was “squishy.” Even before trial, Wal-Mart conceded that the plaintiff was struck by the ornamental pumpkin due to an employee’s negligent behavior. Wal-Mart, however, contested the issues of causation and damages, which are necessary elements of negligence.

Negligence is the failure to take proper care when doing something. Put another way, negligence is the failure to take reasonable care in one’s actions or omissions. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would behave in the same or similar circumstances. In order to prevail on a negligence claim, the plaintiff has to establish the following elements:  1) the defendant owed the plaintiff a duty of care; 2) the defendant breached the duty of care owed to the plaintiff; 3) the defendant’s breach caused the accident; and 4) the plaintiff suffered quantifiable damages as a result. All four elements have to be met in order to win on a negligence claim. Continue reading →

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medical-doctor-1314902-mLike a number of other states across the U.S., Florida has a cap on medical negligence damages that can be awarded to a plaintiff in a medical malpractice case. Simply put, this means there is a maximum amount of financial compensation that a Florida plaintiff can recover for non-economic damages in a medical malpractice claim under state law. This rule does have some exceptions. Each case is different and will be evaluated by a court on a case-by-case basis. If you or someone you know has been injured in a medical malpractice case, it is best to seek the help of a qualified Miami medical malpractice attorney who can help you get the compensation you deserve.

Medical malpractice refers to medical negligence. It occurs when a healthcare provider does not offer a reasonable standard of care. Under Florida law, an acceptable standard of care is defined as “the level of care, skill and treatment which is recognized as acceptable and appropriate by reasonably prudent, similar healthcare providers under similar circumstances.” In other words, the healthcare professional must act the same way another sensible healthcare professional would act in the same or similar situation. Healthcare providers include physicians, dentists, chiropractors, nurses, and more.

In order to recover damages in a medical malpractice case, the plaintiff must establish the elements of negligence. There are four basic elements that must be present. The healthcare professional must have owed the patient a duty of care, the healthcare professional must have breached the duty of care owed to the patient, the patient must have suffered harm as a direct consequence of the healthcare professional’s breach, and there must be actual damages that the plaintiff can identify. Continue reading →

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money2Under Florida law, an injured person may seek a variety of damages from an at-fault party. The specific damages that a plaintiff can obtain will depend on the nature and severity of the injuries. Typically, damages can include medical expenses, lost income and benefits, pain and suffering, and more. While there is no specific method, an experienced attorney can help you effectively demonstrate damages and get you the maximum allowable recovery under the law.

In Maggolc Inc. v. Robertson, the Third District Court of Appeals addressed what type of evidence is needed to prove lost wages. The facts of the case are as follows. The plaintiff was injured in a motor scooter accident in Miami Beach when his automobile hit uneven pavement. He later sued Maggolc, the company responsible for maintaining the pavement where the accident took place. At trial, the jury decided in favor of the plaintiff, awarding him over half a million dollars in damages, including those related to lost earnings.

On appeal, Maggolc claimed that the past lost earnings and future lost earning capacity damages award was improper due to the “skimpy” testimony regarding the matters. Specifically, Maggolc claimed that the plaintiff’s claims were “unsupported by financial records of any kind” and could be mere speculation. Indeed, there were no tax documents or bank records to support the plaintiff’s claims that he was earning $80,000 prior to his accident. Continue reading →

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pain logWhen you’ve been injured in any type of accident, whether it is a slip and fall, a car wreck, or a pedestrian accident, you may have suffered damages. Damages are defined as the amount of money needed to compensate an accident victim who has been harmed by another person’s negligence or misconduct. There are two general categories of damages:  economic and non-economic. Economic damages include medical bills, lost income and benefits, future lost income, loss of support and services, property damage, and any other economic loss arising from the accident. Non-economic damages include pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience.

Non-economic damages can be difficult to prove, since there is no set way to quantify them as we can quantify the loss of a car or a hospital bill. Consider pain and suffering, which is the legal term for physical and emotional stress that stems from your accident. Factors that you might consider in this category include aches, pains, temporary or long-term physical limitations, depression, scarring, or overall reduced quality of life.

It is important to note that the plaintiff has the burden of proof in a negligence case, which includes proving liability as well as damages. Since pain and suffering is challenging to prove, it is important for victims of accidents to document their feelings and experiences after an accident. Memories fade, and once time passes you may not remember how severely the pain disrupted your life. This is exactly why having a journal or pain log that keeps track of your injuries and how they adversely affect your daily life is critically important. Detailing the type of pain, the frequency of the pain, the duration of pain, the severity of the pain, and the feelings associated with the pain could truly make all the difference when it comes to proving pain and suffering in your case. Continue reading →