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“Serious Injuries” in Florida Personal Injury Cases

When accidents take place, the risk of being injured is quite high. While some injuries are minor, and individuals can make a full and speedy recovery, in other cases, injuries stemming from auto accidents can result in life-changing disabilities. If you or someone close to you has been injured in an accident caused by someone else’s negligence, you can recover compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, we are here to guide you through the legal process. We understand that this is a stressful and difficult time for you and your family, which is why we will handle your case with the utmost compassion.

Under Florida’s personal injury liability law, you are not liable for another person’s bodily injuries even if you caused the car accident unless those injuries meet a certain threshold. If the injuries do not meet the legal threshold, the injured party cannot recover compensation for any pain and suffering or non-economic damages associated with those injuries. This is because Florida drivers must carry $10,000 in personal injury protection coverage, and the idea is that this policy will pay for medical expenses, lost wages, travel expenses, and other out-of-pocket costs that may arise from auto accidents. This coverage kicks in first, irrespective of who caused the accident.

Under Fla. Stat. Ann. Section 627.737, if a person sustains one of the following types of injuries in a motor vehicle accident, the “threshold” standard will be met:

  • Significant and permanent loss of an important bodily function;
  • Permanent injury within a reasonable degree of medical probability;
  • Significant and permanent scarring or disfigurement;
  • Death.

For example, an injury requiring amputation would meet the threshold, whereas a sprained ankle would not. If the threshold is met, the injured plaintiff would be able to seek compensation beyond what is paid out by the personal injury coverage. Specifically, the plaintiff could seek compensation for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and inconvenience because of a bodily injury, sickness, or disease arising from the accident.

In cases in which injuries surpass the serious injury threshold, the typical route to recover compensation is a negligence claim against the at-fault party. Negligence occurs when a driver fails to use reasonable care behind the wheel, thereby causing an accident and injuries to others. Reasonable care is defined as how a prudent person would drive under the same or similar circumstances. The benefit of filing a lawsuit is that you would be able to recover non-economic damages that are not covered by insurance.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident that was not your fault, you may be entitled to compensation for your harm. At the Law Offices of Robert Dixon, you can rest assured that our Florida catastrophic injury lawyers are committed to pursuing the damages you are rightfully owed. With years of experience, we know how to navigate Florida personal injury claims. You do not have to go through this situation alone. To learn more about your rights and options, call us at 1-877-499-HURT (4878) or reach out to us online.

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Car Accidents Involving Elderly Drivers in Florida, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 28, 2017

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Florida Road Design Defects, South Florida Injury Lawyer Blawg, December 28, 2017