Types of Damages in Premises Liability Cases
Following any type of personal injury incurred while on the property of another individual or business, the person who has suffered injury is entitled to damages under the basic rules of negligence. These rules dictate that if the person’s injury was a foreseeable result of the negligent action of the person who controls the property, then he or she is entitled to compensation for damages sustained. These damages can range in scope, depending on the severity and type of injury sustained.
In any type of Florida personal injury claim, premises liability cases included, the first type of damages that are normally sought involve economic damages. These damages include expenses or items of monetary value. If property has been damaged, such as a car or any other item of personal property, or even real property, this would fall in the economic damages category. In addition, medical expenses for the injury sustained on the property, such as medical treatments, doctor’s visits, medications, transportation, or any type of recovery-related treatment, falls in this category, as well. If the injured individual anticipates future medical care, these future medical expenses are also considered economic damages.
After being injured, that person may also need to hire someone to help him or her with personal services, like cooking, cleaning, driving or other daily, necessary tasks. These expenses also fall under economic damages.
Another important economic damage that often comes up in negligence cases is lost wages. Lost wages can include present loss of income while the injured person has been off work and future ones, if the person is anticipated to need a long recovery period and will not be able to work for some time. Lost wages can be fairly easy to prove if the person is seeking present lost wages, simply by producing a certain number of recent paystubs. Medical witnesses may be needed to testify as to the person’s ability to work in the future, if future lost wages are being sought.
The second category of damages sought in Florida premises liability cases are non-economic damages. For these damages, the person is normally seeking compensation for pain and suffering. The dollar amount attached to pain and suffering can be subjective and requires a heightened level of proof. Suffering can include many things, including loss of enjoyment of life. Non-economic damages can include injuries to family members of the injured, including loss of companionship and care. When it comes to pain and suffering, pain does not just include physical but also emotional, which can include depression and anxiety. The amount of non-economic damages can depend on how severe the injuries are and how constant the pain is.
Because these damages do not come with a numerical value automatically, they are often disputed by the other side and may require additional arguments and evidence to prove. An attorney experienced in premises liability can assist the client in putting together the evidence needed to properly prove these damages.
In situations where there was gross negligence or extreme behavior on behalf of the defendant/property owner, courts may award punitive damages. These types of damages are meant to “punish” the person who did the wrongdoing, in this case the property owner or business. They are not awarded in every case, and are only awarded if the court feels that the behavior of the property owner warrants more than what standard economic or non-economic damages would allow.
When you enter onto an individual’s or business owner’s property, even for a moment, the law generally finds that you have a reasonable expectation to not suffer unforeseen injury. If you have suffered injuries as a result of a business or property owner’s negligence, you have the right to pursue financial compensation. Our firm represents injured clients who not only seek financial compensation but more importantly, justice. The practice of personal injury law is our calling. We are a firm of high-profile, nationally recognized legal advocates who work for you, our client, never big business. Spencer Aronfeld is a Board Certified Trial Lawyer and our firm, Aronfeld Trial Lawyers has successfully represented people and their families in premises liability claims across the country since 1991. Call us today for a free initial consultation 1-866-597-4529 or email [email protected] and speak with a Miami premises liability lawyer about your potential claim. Our attorneys and support staff are well versed in premises liability law and are available to speak with you 24-hours a day, 7-days a week.