How Serious Do Your Injuries Have To Be To Seek Compensation Through A Lawsuit?
I’ve been hurt. Is my PIP policy the only option I have?
No, not necessarily. Florida motorists are required to carry PIP insurance, and it pays out if you are injured in an accident no matter who is to blame. But, it’s important to understand that some injuries are more serious than others and could leave you struggling financially for years or even the rest of your life. In these cases, the payments that PIP provides may not be enough. And in these instances, seeking help through a personal injury lawsuit may be a viable option – if your injuries are severe enough.
Do my injuries have to be severe to file a personal injury lawsuit?
The Florida courts have set very real guidelines for what kind of injuries can be the focus of a lawsuit. Personal injury cases must involve an injury that exceeds certain limitations, otherwise you won’t have the ability to file a claim. For instance, a bruised leg isn’t enough to seek restitution. But a broken arm or brain damage could be.
What is the Florida Serious Injury Threshold?
Florida’s Serious Injury Threshold means that someone is not liable for the injuries another person sustained due to your actions in an accident unless those injuries meet a threshold in the medical field. That threshold is generally the point wherein serious pain, extended disability, mental anguish, financial hardship, and serious inconvenience occur as a result of the accident.
PIP will cover you up to the limits of your policy, but beyond its basic limits you could be left struggling to recover. As a result, seeking financial compensation may be needed. If your injuries are beyond the Florida Serious Injury Threshold, you could have the right to get compensation through a lawsuit.
What kind of injuries fall into the threshold?
While no two accidents are the same and while it’s important to remember that each case is different, there are generally four categories that an injury may fall under that means that you could seek compensation. The threshold standards in these cases are:
• Permanent scarring and disfigurement of a serious nature
• Permanent injury
• Significant and permanent loss of a bodily function
If your injuries meet these criteria, there is a good chance that they exceed the threshold. This means that you could seek financial restitution for your injuries.
How is it decided that an injury is serious enough for a case?
There aren’t detailed guidelines that break down exactly what will be considered an injury beyond the Serious Injury Threshold. Past cases do give some indication, such as broken bones being a near-guarantee while things like sprains or bruises often aren’t. The reason here is that the pain from a sprain could be significant, but it won’t permanently impair your ability to use the limb for an extended period of time. Your attorney can help you better determine what your rights are and if your injuries are serious enough.
What if my injuries aren’t severe enough?
Just because your injuries don’t meet the threshold for serious injury, you could still receive help paying medical bills and offsetting lost wages. Your PIP policy is the obvious place to start, and could help you tremendously. But, PIP providers often fight to avoid paying out anything as well, and you could end up needing help seeking compensation through your PIP provider and getting the funds you need to recover.
How do I file a claim?
The best way to make sure that you give yourself the best chance possible of making a full recovery is simply to contact a personal injury lawyer in Florida. They can review your case, determine what your rights are, and then help you identify the steps that you need to take. You do have rights, and knowing them is important for anyone injured in an accident.
If you have been injured in a car accident in Bradenton visit our Bradenton auto accident law page for more information.