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Do New Tampa, FL Auto Accident Injuries Include Emotional Distress?

After being injured as a result of someone else’s negligence, people often wonder what damages they are entitled to recover and whether New Tampa auto accident injuries include emotional distress.  To best understand this, it is important to understand what damages can be recovered in a personal injury case whether it is for an auto accident or premise liability.


Florida Standard Civil Jury Instruction 501.2 states that any bodily injury sustained by a person 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.  Further, the reasonable value or expense of hospitalization and medical and nursing care and treatment necessarily or reasonably obtained by the injured person in the past or to be so obtained in the future.  Finally, any earnings for any work time lost in the past and any loss of ability to earn money in the future.


The Florida standard jury instruction does not provide a formula or point of reference to calculate the amount of emotional distress.  Instead, it provides that there is not exact standard for measuring damages, only that the amount should be fair and just in light of the evidence.  To assist in weighing the evidence and believability of witnesses Florida Standard Jury Instructions in Section 600 allow the jury to use reason and common sense to reach conclusions.


Although emotional distress is not mentioned as part of damages, the noneconomic damages of mental anguish and loss of capacity for enjoyment of life are used as components of damages that would encompass any emotional distress suffered by an injured person.


For any additional questions, please contact our office for a free initial consultation.

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