Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Feb 13, 2020

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In product liability cases, as in other cases involving personal injury or property damage, the person injured (the plaintiff) can recover compensation (money) for any injuries or damages that could have been foreseen if someone marketed a defective or unreasonably dangerous product.

You should consult your Florida product liability attorney about what kinds of damages you might recover in your individual case, but the following overview can tell you the kinds of damages that are generally available:

Damages are usually divided into economic damages and non-economic damages. Economic damages include medical expenses, other related expenses, and lost wages. Non-economic damages are pain and suffering.

Medical expenses can include medical care, hospitalization, ambulance services, prescription and other medicines, medical supplies, prostheses, and home nursing. Present medical expenses are those that have been incurred by the time the case is resolved in settlement or trial. If the injured person still needs medical care, he or she will also be entitled to future medical expenses for as long as the injury persists.

The plaintiff can recover other kinds of expenses. These often involve the expense of hiring people to do the things the plaintiff is unable to do because of the injury. These might be things like cleaning, shopping, cooking, driving children, doing laundry, and doing gardening. A person with a long-term injury or permanent disability may also need someone to provide personal care and modifications to a car, house, or apartment.

Finally, economic damages include lost wages. If the plaintiff is employed and has missed some work, this is very easy to calculate. But if the plaintiff is unemployed, self-employed, or has an income source that varies, lost wages may be more difficult to determine. If the plaintiff has suffered an injury that will take a long time to heal or has been permanently injured, future wages will also need to be calculated. These are awarded in what is called present value. This means that a person who will miss two years of work doesn’t get the total of 24 months of income. They get an amount of money that, if it’s invested conservatively, will give them that amount at the end of 2 years.

Non-economic damages or pain and suffering are available for both physical and emotional pain. The person injured can recover for the physical pain suffered because of the injury. This may be severe, moderate, or slight/minimal. If the case goes to trial, the jury or judge (in the absence of a jury) will decide how much money it will take to compensate the person injured for the physical pain.

Serious injuries also involve emotional suffering. An injured person, for example, might become depressed because of the pain or the changes in his or her life. Family members might also experience emotional suffering.

Punitive damages are available in some cases, but rather than compensating an injured party for injuries or damages, these damages are used to punish the defendant. Punitive damages are only available in cases where the defendant has acted very badly. You should ask your Florida product liability attorney if punitive damages might be available in your case.

If you would like to have your case evaluated by an experienced Florida product liability attorney, fill out our case evaluation form at no cost or obligation.

Check out the following articles for more information about Florida product liability, filing a Florida product liability lawsuit and finding a Florida product liability attorney.