Our experienced personal injury lawyers have found the issue of damages can be one of the most contentious parts of an injury lawsuit. Generally speaking, damages is the amount of money that a plaintiff is entitled to from a defendant to compensate adequately for injuries. Damages can take the form of economic damages or non-economic damages. Economic damages refer to the actual amount of money that a person is entitled to due to losses from an accident. This value is calculated based on bills incurred or records of payments and include medical fees, lost wages, fees to repair property, etc. On the other hand, non-economic damages are losses that have no inherent, concrete dollar amount. Courts do not usually calculate non-economic damages from hard bills or records that assign a specific number and, therefore, are harder to ascertain. These include damages for pain and suffering, emotional suffering or anguish, or loss of consortium with family members.
Some states have recently passed legislation to limit the amount that courts can award for non-economic damages, including Florida. The issue of legislative caps is what the court faced in Miles v. Weingrad. In Miles, the plaintiff filed a medical malpractice suit against the defendant, her doctor. The plaintiff had surgery to remove a malignant tumor from her leg and asked the defendant for a second opinion. The defendant recommended a second surgery, which he eventually performed, for the purpose of ensuring that cancer was, in fact, removed. However, the plaintiff experienced many complications after surgery and experienced limited mobility. Continue reading →