Pedestrian accidents often result in serious injuries—and these injuries can leave victims facing significant losses. From medical bills to lost earnings, the financial costs alone can far exceed what most people can afford. When you add in victims’ emotional trauma, pain and suffering, and loss of enjoyment of life, a pedestrian accident can truly be a life-altering experience.
Fortunately, injured pedestrians will be entitled to compensation for their financial and non-financial losses in many cases. These losses—or “damages”—are unique to each victim. As a result, if you’ve been injured in a pedestrian accident in Florida, calculating your damages will involve gaining a comprehensive understanding of all of the ways your injuries have impacted (and will continue to impact) your life.
Calculating Your Financial Damages After a Pedestrian Accident
For many pedestrian accident victims, recovering their financial damages is their most immediate concern. Suffering serious injuries can have immediate financial consequences—and, if you suddenly find yourself facing unexpected medical bills while you are unable to work, this can be a very stressful situation.
If a negligent driver (or any other party) is responsible for your injuries, you are entitled to just compensation for all of your financial losses under Florida law. Here is a brief overview of the steps involved in calculating the most common types of financial damages after a pedestrian accident:
Past Medical Bills
As a pedestrian accident victim in Florida, you are entitled to just compensation for your medical bills from the moment you got injured until you are fully recovered. Calculating damages for your past medical bills will involve adding up your receipts and the amount of any unpaid medical bills that are still pending. With this in mind, it is a good idea to start keeping track of your receipts and unpaid bills—though your lawyer will work with your healthcare providers to collect all relevant documents.
Future Medical Bills
Calculating just compensation for your future medical bills is more challenging. This involves understanding your long-term medical needs and forecasting the costs of your future care. Here, too, your lawyer will work with your healthcare providers to ensure that he or she is seeking the full compensation you deserve
Other Past and Future Out-of-Pocket Costs
Along with your medical bills, you are also entitled to just compensation for your other past and future out-of-pocket costs. This includes things like prescriptions, medical supplies and transportation—as well as housecleaning, landscaping, childcare and other necessary services. Your lawyer will use your receipts and account statements to add up your costs to date, and then your lawyer will forecast your future costs based on your injuries’ long-term effects and your ongoing medical needs.
Loss of Income and Benefits
Similar to your out-of-pocket costs, calculating damages for your lost income and benefits will involve using the records that are available (i.e., your pay stubs and documentation from your employer) to show how much the accident has cost you. But, there can be some additional challenges involved, particularly if you rely on tips or commissions. As a result, it is important to work with an experienced lawyer who can accurately calculate the total damages you are owed.
Loss of Earning Capacity
Calculating your loss of earning capacity presents additional challenges as well. How long will you be out of work? Will you be able to go back to work part-time or in a limited capacity? What raises and promotions would you have received over your lifetime? These are just a few of the questions that your lawyer must be able to answer in order to provide effective legal representation.
Calculating Your Non-Financial Damages After a Pedestrian Accident
While securing financial damages is many people’s most immediate concern, the non-financial costs of a pedestrian accident will often have the greatest long-term consequences. As a result, non-financial losses will often account for the largest portion of a pedestrian accident victim’s claim for damages.
The non-financial costs of a pedestrian accident can take many different forms. For example, in a typical pedestrian accident case involving serious injuries, we will seek damages for our client’s:
- Emotional trauma
- Pain and suffering
- Scarring and disfigurement
- Loss of companionship and consortium
- Loss of enjoyment of life
Since there is no way to “add up” these losses, calculating non-financial damages is very different from calculating financial damages. In most cases, one of two methods will be used:
The first method is the per diem method. “Per diem” is Latin for “by the day.” When using the per diem method, a daily dollar value is assigned to the accident victim’s non-financial losses. This value is then multiplied by the number of days the victim is expected to experience these losses over the remainder of his or her life. The per diem value is based on the scope and severity of the non-financial effects of the victim’s injuries.
The second method is the multiplier method. With this method, the first step is to calculate the victim’s financial damages. Then, a “multiplier” (which is typically a number between one and five) is applied to calculate the victim’s total non-financial damages. Similar to a per diem value, the multiplier is based on the victim’s individual circumstance.
As you can see, the damages available in Florida pedestrian accident cases can be substantial. As you can also see, these damages are simply intended to put victims back in the place they would have been had their accidents never happened. While it may never be possible to fully move on from a serious accident, recovering the damages you deserve is critical for minimizing the long-term consequences of someone else’s mistake.
Discuss Your Florida Pedestrian Accident Case with a Lawyer at Searcy Denney
If you need to know more about your legal rights after a pedestrian accident in Florida, we encourage you to speak with one of our lawyers as soon as possible. For a free, no-obligation consultation at Searcy Denney, call 800-780-8607 or tell us how we can contact you online today.