What a Jury May Be Told about Damages in your Case.

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What a Jury May Be Told about Damages in your Case. 

Damages obviously play a huge role in any personal injury claim. As your case progresses towards trial, it is important to understand what the jury will told about damages. The following is an excerpt from the Florida Standard Jury Instructions. Before a jury decides your case a Judge will read to them a series of jury instructions. These instruction include rules on evidence, burden of proof, damages and other important issues. Your attorney can also request for instructions to be changed, left out or for special instructions to be included. Below is the standard instructions on damages and what elements must shown during trial for each type of damages to be proven.  

Injury, pain, disability, disfigurement, loss of capacity for enjoyment of life:

Any bodily injury sustained by (name) and any resulting pain and suffering [disability or physical impairment] [disfigurement] [mental anguish] [inconvenience] [or] [loss of capacity for the enjoyment of life] experienced in the past [or to be experienced in the future]. There is no exact standard for measuring such damage. The amount should be fair and just in the light of the evidence.

Medical expenses:

Care and treatment of claimant:

The reasonable [value] [or] [expense] of [hospitalization and] medical [and nursing] care and treatment necessarily or reasonably obtained by (claimant) in the past [or to be so obtained in the future].

Care and treatment of minor claimant after reaching majority:

The reasonable [value] [or] [expense] of [hospitalization and] medical [and nursing] care and treatment necessarily or reasonably to be obtained by (minor claimant) after [he] [she] reaches the age of (legal age).

Lost earnings, lost time, lost earning capacity:

When lost earnings or lost working time shown:

[Any earnings] [Any working time] lost in the past [and any loss of ability to earn money in the future].

When earnings or lost working time not shown:

Any loss of ability to earn money sustained in the past [and any such loss in the future]

Spouse’s loss of consortium and services:

On the claim brought by (spouse), you should award (spouse) an amount of money which the greater weight of the evidence shows will fairly and adequately compensate (spouse) for any loss by reason of [his wife’s] [her husband’s] injury, of [his] [her] services, comfort, society and attentions in the past [and in the future] caused by the incident in question.

Parental damages for care and treatment of claimant’s minor child; parental loss of child’s services, earnings, earning capacity:

On the claim[s] of (parent(s)), you should award (parent(s)) an amount of money, which the greater weight of the evidence shows will fairly and adequately compensate (parent(s)) for damages caused by the incident in question. You shall consider the following element[s] of damage:

The reasonable [value] [or] [expense] of [hospitalization and] medical [and nursing] care and treatment necessarily or reasonably obtained by (parent(s)) for [his] [her] [their] child, (name), in the past [or to be so obtained in the future until (name) reaches the age of (legal age)].

[Any loss by (parent(s)) by reason of [his] [her] [their] child’s injury, of the [services] [earnings] [or] [earning ability] of [his] [her] [their] child in the past [and in the future until the child reaches the age of (legal age)].]

[Any economic loss sustained by (parent(s)) [including] [any earn­ings lost in the past] [and] [any loss of ability to earn money in the future] reasonably resulting from the need to care or provide for the child because of the child’s injury [until (name) reaches the age of (legal age)].]

Parental loss of filial consortium as a result of significant injury resulting in child’s permanent disability:

In addition, if the greater weight of the evidence shows that (claimant child) sustained a significant injury resulting in (claimant child’s) permanent total disability, you shall consider the following element of damage:

Any loss by (parent(s)), by reason of that injury, of their child’s companionship, society, love, affection, and solace in the past [and in the future until the child reaches the age of (legal age)].

If the greater weight of the evidence does not support (parent(s)’s) claim that their child sustained a significant injury resulting in permanent total disability, your verdict should be for (defendant(s)) on this element of damage.

Unmarried dependent’s claim for loss of parental consortium: 

In addition, if the greater weight of the evidence shows that (claimant parent) sustained a significant injury resulting in (claimant parent’s) permanent total disability, you shall consider the following element of damage:

Any loss by reason of (claimant parent’s) injury of (claimant parent’s) services, comfort, companionship and society in the past and in the future.

If the greater weight of the evidence does not support the claim that (claimant parent(s)’s) sustained a significant injury resulting in permanent total disability, your verdict should be for (defendant(s)) on this element of damage.

If You Have Questions About An Injury You Suffered

Please contact Clifton Law Office, you can reach me at my contact page online or call me directly at 904-209-4883.

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