In the State of Florida, bicycle accident victims can only claim emotional distress damages in connection with a demonstrable physical injury. The logical test known colloquially as the “impact rule” does not allow for emotional distress damages or similar special damages without evidence of an injury.
In many cases, the severity of the injury will also correspond to the available damages for emotional distress. For example, a minor break with a $22,000 medical cost can make it difficult to request $1.5 million based on the pain the injury caused. However, a $1.5 million spinal injury could conceivably make an equivalent pain and suffering damages request more possible. This example is speaking in general terms; the outcome of a personal injury case always depends upon the circumstances of the case as well as the abilities of the representing bicycle injury attorney.
Those seeking emotional distress damages for bicycle injuries should realize the importance of being able to document the emotional damages in quantifiable terms. For instance, “the victim was unable to leave the house for two weeks, even after their injury had healed completely, because they were traumatized by the experience.”
The evidence need not be so extreme, either. Conversations with psychiatrists, family members and changes in the victim’s normal pattern of behavior can all potentially help establish proof of emotional distress damages.
Bicycle accident victims wishing to claim emotional distress damages should look to the services of an experienced Florida personal injury attorney in order to assemble the needed factors into a compelling case argument.