In Florida, the law requires that for one party to sue another party for injuries that were sustained in a car accident, the injuries must meet certain criteria. The Florida bodily injury threshold—also known as the serious injury threshold—gives drivers who are hurt recourse for injuries that cause serious damage.
Injuries that fall into one or more of the following four categories often meet the necessary criteria to be considered serious enough to allow litigation:
- Significant or permanent injury that results in the loss of a bodily function
- Significant or permanent scarring or disfigurement
- Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability
Let’s take a closer look at this area of Florida personal injury.
What Is the Florida Bodily Injury Threshold?
As a no-fault state, Florida requires drivers to file claims for damages to property and injuries with their own insurance company. Even when fault can be assigned, drivers cannot pursue damages against another driver unless injuries meet a threshold as determined by the Florida Statutes.
When the criteria for the Florida bodily injury threshold are met, a plaintiff may recover compensation from the other driver for their injuries, including pain and suffering.
Floridians are required to carry at least $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage, which covers medical bills, lost wages, and other expenses related to their injuries. Unfortunately, it is common for the cost of medical care to far exceed this minimum.
Does Your Injury Meet the Criteria?
The general criteria as outlined above are all that the Florida Statutes say on the matter of the Florida bodily injury threshold. However, precedents from past cases help to shed some light on whether your injury is serious enough for litigation against another driver. For example, if you sustain any broken bones, you case will most likely qualify.
It is not a good idea to look to other people’s injuries in similar situations to see if your injuries could meet the threshold. While two cases may appear to be identical, it is critical to pay attention to the circumstances surrounding them to determine whether you might be able to recover compensation.
One aspect of an accident to pay attention to is how vulnerable a person is before an accident. While a teenager and someone in their 70s might both suffer whiplash in separate accidents, the teenager is less likely to be left with temporary or permanent impairment, which would decrease their chances of recovering damages.
An Attorney Can Argue Your Case in Court
Whether an injury meets the criteria of the Florida bodily injury threshold is not always clear. If you find yourself in such a situation, you should consult with an attorney to see if it will be worth pursuing compensation from the other driver.
Were you in a car accident that left you injured? Get in touch with Pacin Levine Attorneys at Law to set up a consultation.
Are you ready to pursue your case? Contact us today and set up an appointment to speak to an attorney. Call us at 1-800-24-7-CRASH or write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.