How Serious Does A Car Accident Victim’s Injury Have To Be, For Them To File A Personal Injury Claim In Florida?
Among the many types of civil lawsuits Floridians are allowed to file, personal injury lawsuits are among the most commonly filed. Understandably, personal injury lawsuits, specifically lawsuits relating to car accidents, are filed more often than other civil lawsuits because Florida has a notoriously high rate of car accidents. Statistics show that, in 2020 alone, Florida recorded more than 300,000 car crashes. Out of these crashes, over 3,000 resulted in death, and more than 130,000 resulted in injuries.
Years ago, Florida developed a way of ensuring that the number of personal injury cases that go trial is manageable. One particular Florida law sets a standard when it comes to how severe your injury needs to be for you to file a personal injury claim against an at-fault party. Note that the seriousness threshold applies to personal injury claims filed against at-fault parties. When it comes to filing a Florida personal injury claim against your insurance company, different rules apply. Read on to learn more.
Personal Injury Protection (PIP)
PIP (Personal Injury Protection) insurance coverage is a no-fault type of insurance coverage that allows Florida motorists to recover compensation for lost wages, medical bills, and funeral expenses after an accident, regardless of fault. With PIP, you can recover compensation even when your injuries are not severe. However, it is essential to note that you can only obtain compensation for qualifying treatments. PIP does not cover some treatments. For example, PIP doesn’t cover acupuncture. Additionally, you must note that PIP places a limit when it comes to non-emergency treatment. When the doctor says that your condition is not an emergency medical condition, you can only receive $2,500 from your PIP coverage.
PIP has helped many car accident victims over the years, but one of its downsides is that recovery for injuries is limited. PIP usually pays for only 80% of a person’s medical expenses when an injury is considered an emergency medical condition, and payments typically never exceed $10,000.
Some Basics on the Serious Injury Threshold Law
Fortunately, if $10,000 cannot cover your losses, you have the right to sue an at-fault party. However, you can only sue an at-fault party if you sustained a severe injury in your accident. According to Florida Statute 627.737, a serious injury that qualifies one to sue an at-fault party after an accident is one that consists of, in part or whole;
- Noteworthy, permanent loss of a crucial bodily function
- Noteworthy, permanent disfigurement
- A permanent injury apart from scarring or disfigurement
A victim’s family can also file a lawsuit against an at-fault party who caused a car accident that led to the death of their loved one.
Contact Us Today for Legal Help
If you believe your injuries are severe enough to warrant you to file a personal injury claim against an at-fault party, it is vital that you consult an attorney. Our Fort Myers personal injury attorneys at The Pendas Law Firm can help you determine whether your injuries meet the Florida serious threshold. If they do, we can help you file a lawsuit against an at-fault party and obtain fair compensation. We can also help you get compensation from your PIP insurance coverage if you are having a hard time dealing with your insurer. Contact us today for a free consultation.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Orlando, Daytona Beach, Tampa, West Palm Beach, Bradenton, Miami, Ocala, Jacksonville, and Fort Lauderdale areas.