Articles Tagged with damages

Drunk driving is a crime, but not every person who causes a car accident while under the influence of alcohol gets criminal penalties. The civil courts and criminal courts operate independently of each other, so a Miami car accident lawyer can help you seek compensation if the drunk driver who caused your injuries was never convicted of DUI in criminal court.

How are Civil and Criminal Cases Different?

Most of the court cases you hear about on the news or see dramatized in movies are criminal cases, but most of the ones in which you or people you know well have been directly involved are civil cases. If you have ever gotten divorced, settled a deceased family member’s estate, or faced a lawsuit about an unpaid debt, the legal proceedings took place in civil court. Personal injury lawsuits are civil cases. As in many civil matters, the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit is asking the court to order the defendant to pay monetary compensation to the plaintiff to compensate the plaintiff for financial losses caused by the defendant’s negligence. The plaintiff can win the case if they can persuade that a preponderance of the evidence shows that the defendant’s negligence directly caused the plaintiff’s financial losses.

When settlement negotiations and mediation are unsuccessful in resolving a car accident claim, you will need to take your case to trial to recover the compensation you deserve. Though every matter is different, you can consider it a win when the jury comes back with a verdict in your favor and indicates the award amount. However, a judge still has the final say under Florida’s statute on remittitur and additur, legal jargon for increasing or decreasing damages. If the judge finds that the award is improper, it could be reduced. 

It might seem unfair that the court could change the amount that a jury has found to be reasonable. Still, the statute is clear: Lawmakers intended to bring practicality and logic to the civil court system, so it is in the best interests of Florida motorists to allow a judge to make adjustments. A Miami car accident attorney can explain details, but some background on this law is useful.

Factors Judges Weigh in Modifying Jury Awards

Americans enjoy a rather long life expectancy at around 79 years old, but accidents are a common reason that this duration may be cut short. According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), almost 214,000 people are killed every year because of unintentional injuries, many of which are preventable. There is a common assumption that car accidents are a top cause of fatalities, and motor vehicle collisions do rank high. However, with the opioid crisis and widespread availability of fentanyl, unintentional poisonings take the #1 spot. 

Losing a loved one is tragic, but the resulting financial implications affect your life in ways you did not expect. Florida wrongful death laws do provide you with legal remedies, so you may qualify to recover compensation after a horrific accident. A Miami wrongful death lawyer will handle all important legal tasks, and some information on monetary damages is also helpful.

Compensation in Fatal Accident Claims

Car accidents remain one of the leading causes of death and disability in the U.S., so government officials are constantly researching, assessing data, and reviewing statistics to determine ways to reduce them. One measurement that has proven useful for purposes of analysis is the so-called KABCO scale established by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), which evaluates the severity of auto collision injuries and expresses how they impact crash costs. 

There are several complicated formulas that FHWA uses to balance how much a manufacturer must expend to implement accident countermeasures against how well they succeed in reducing crashes. The resulting calculation is useful from the perspective of societal costs, but the KABCO scale may also be a factor if you suffered severe, debilitating trauma in a collision. Though you can trust your Miami catastrophic injuries attorney for help with the legal process, here is an overview of the KABCO scale. 

KABCO Injury Scale and Cost Assessment

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The National Center for Victims of Crime
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